On June 28, 2021, Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College and Merritt College each received official communication from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC). During their June 9-11, 2021 meeting, the ACCJC reviewed the Special Reports, Institutional Self Evaluation Reports (ISERs) and peer review site visit reports from December 2020 and March 2021 to determine whether the Peralta Colleges met accreditation standards. As we anticipated, the ACCJC acted to continue the status of Probation originally imposed in January 2020, with a required follow-up report due by October 1, 2021, in turn to be followed by a visit from a peer review team.
All four colleges remain fully accredited during this probationary period.
We expected this decision to extend probation because, while we have made great progress toward meeting all standards for accreditation, some concerns about District finances and Board governance remain.
As you may recall, the probationary status placed on the colleges in January 2020 by ACCJC was not about academics or education, but solely about finances and organizational governance matters. During the past year, the ACCJC required the colleges to provide evidence of financial improvement and organizational stability at each of our colleges.
The District’s four colleges each submitted evidence of financial performance improvement to ACCJC as well as documents, evidence and other information to demonstrate that we meet the required accreditation standards.
The site visit peer review teams, both in December 2020 and in March 2021, acknowledged the considerable work that has been done to improve finances and create stability. The special site review team in December 2020 noted that the team found “a committed, competent group of district and college leaders...who are earnestly making progress toward addressing all the Commission’s concerns as noted in prior reports and the January 2020 ACCJC communications.”
The ACCJC has provided specific recommendations which we will continue to address.
Finally, we want to thank all the faculty, classified professionals, and administrators who have worked so hard over the past 18 months to address the concerns raised by ACCJC in January 2020. All that incredibly hard work, conducted remotely during a global pandemic, has not gone unnoticed. Thank you for your dedication to our students!
Yours in Education,