Educators from peer institutions across the Western Association of Schools and Colleges conducted virtual site visits of the Peralta Community College District and the four colleges last week, March 1-4. These peer reviews were conducted on behalf of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and were part of an accreditation process that included the Special Reports we submitted last November and the Institutional Self Evaluation Reports (ISERs) submitted in December 2020. The visits went well. We’re writing to share with you some preliminary good news that we received during the accreditation site visits last week.
Dear Peralta Community,
I’ve been reading a book entitled, The Alchemist. It’s by Paulo Coelho, an author from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It’s a really wonderful book. Here is a quote from the inside cover:
"This enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and soul-stirring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a [fortune teller], a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.”
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) is visiting (virtually) the Peralta Community College District on December 16 and 17 to follow up on our Colleges’ accreditation submittals, specifically the Special Reports submitted on November 1, 2020.
While the Colleges remain fully accredited during a probationary period announced by ACCJC in January 2020, we are pleased to report that the District and Colleges are making progress on removing that probationary status.
As you may recall, the probationary status was not about academics or education, but solely about finances and organizational matters.
The ACCJC required the Colleges to provide additional evidence of financial improvement. That is exactly what College of Alameda, Berkeley City, Laney and Merritt Colleges have done, and we believe the reported results are excellent.
We are confident the colleges have addressed the ACCJC concerns and have demonstrated each campus meets the requirements to be removed from probationary status.
Each of the four Colleges reported growing enrollments and services to students through online winter and spring intersession offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the campuses successfully conducted marketing and outreach campaigns to potential students seeking online instruction in California State University and University of California-transferable courses.
All of the four Colleges noted increases in their individual “Dual Enrollment Programs,” which offers high school students an early start on their career technical education and opportunities to earn units toward their college degree.
The Colleges partner with high schools in Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda to promote educational equity by offering empowering, transformative educational experiences to local high school students.
By increasing the Colleges’ offerings to high schools these new enrollments hopefully mean these students will have already begun their college experience by the time they graduate high school, giving them both a head start in college as well as saving them money.
All four of the Peralta Colleges are fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and remain so during a probationary period that began in January 2020. We are pleased to report that the colleges of Peralta Community College District are making progress on removing their probationary status.