Accreditation Commission Actions

President's Message

February 5, 2009

Accreditation Commission Actions

We have received the long-awaited letter from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. It contains some very good news and some shocking news. This is a somewhat long letter, because I have included the exact wording of the recommendations from the Commission.

Starting with the good news:
At its meeting on January 7-9, 2009 the Accrediting Commission reviewed the "Unauthorized Grade" special report submitted by the college in August 2008, and the report of the evaluation team that visited Diablo Valley College on Friday, September 19, 2008. The Commission acted to accept the special report and noted that the issues of grade security and integrity that were the subject of the special report appear to have been satisfactorily resolved. This was a very difficult challenge for us. We accepted this challenge, faced it together, and I want to emphasize how gratifying this result is for all of us.

On a less positive note:
The Commission reviewed the 2008 institutional Self-Study Report, and the report of the comprehensive evaluation team, which visited us on October 13-16, 2008. The Commission acted to issue Show Cause, which is a serious sanction. The college is required to complete a report by October 15, 2009, which will be followed by a visit of Commission representatives.

According to the letter, DVC has been placed on Show Cause because four of the five deficiencies identified by the 2002 comprehensive evaluation team were not resolved and have been again identified as deficiencies. The letter states: During the period of the Show Cause order, the accredited status of the institution continues.

Under US Department of Education regulations, institutions out of compliance with standards or on sanction are expected to correct deficiencies within a maximum two year period or the commission must take action to terminate accreditation.

Here's the work DVC needs to do:

  1. ... clarify the decision-making roles of constituent groups in the establishment of the campus organizational structure and implement a participatory process to advance the mission and goals of the institution.
     
  2. ... must develop and implement college wide planning that is tied to the strategic plan, mission, and resource allocation that;
     
    • integrates all aspects of planning, evaluation, and resource allocation;
       
    • is well defined, widely disseminated, and discussed through reflective college wide dialogue;
       
    • includes faculty, staff, students, and administration from the Diablo Valley College's main campus and its San Ramon campus.
       
  3. ...implement a uniform process of program review which includes direct and evidence of student learning and is used to inform and influence planning and resource allocation and leads to improvements in programs and services.
     
  4. ... improve our existing curriculum process to include a timely systematic review and efficient procedures for course and program approval with adequate technology and staff support. ..."the curriculum process [must] be fully integrated with the program review process.
     
  5. ... further improve our communication to increase collaboration across organizational structures by promoting transparent decision making, honest dialogue, and wide spread dissemination of internal college documents.

The team also identified two eligibility requirements that need to be met:

Eligibility Requirement 10 - Student Learning and Achievement: The visiting team confirmed that Diablo Valley College defines and publishes the programs of study leading to an associate degree, certificate, and program of study leading to transfer. Program expected learning and achievement outcomes, however, have yet to be developed and published.

Eligibility Requirement 19 - Institutional Planning and Evaluation: The visiting team confirmed that Diablo Valley College has a documented Educational Master Plan, Facilities Master Plan and technology master plan. However, planning processes and outcomes need to be consistent, integrated, evaluated, and updated. Technology planning is not integrated with institutional planning. The institution does not systematically assess the effective use of technology resources or use the results of evaluation as the basis for improvement. Diablo Valley College completed its last technology master plan in 2001. The plan was comprehensive and included implementation timelines over a three year period through 2004. Since that time, there has been no comprehensive and integrated effort to guide the development and implementation of technology resources over the last four years.

Finally, the Show Cause report we submit in October must include an addendum developed by the three colleges and the district addressing a district recommendation which states: In order to improve its resource allocation process, the district should expedite development of a financial allocation model including the following:

  • The model as a whole;
  • Funding for adjunct faculty in a way that will support the district and college intentions to increase student enrollment;
  • Technology funding.

The commission will set additional deadlines for us to fully resolve the other recommendations contained in the team report and we will certainly begin work on those, but our primary focus needs to be on the recommendations that must be addressed between now and October.

In closing I want to reiterate:

This is about the college we were....

This is not the college I found, or the college we are today.
In the 18 months that I have been at Diablo Valley College, I have come to know a college that has faced difficult challenges, and has demonstrated the ability to work together to resolve those challenges.

This is another challenge.
We don't have a lot of time, but we have the right people, and the right attitude, and Diablo Valley College will meet these recommendations within the time constraints designated by the commission.

 

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