Community College Accreditation Reform One Step Closer to Reality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, July 15, 2015

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CFT-Sponsored Bills Pass Senate Education Committee

SACRAMENTO – On Wednesday, California’s community college system – numbering more than 2 million students – got one step closer to a more consistent, transparent process when it comes to accrediting the system’s 112 schools.

The state’s Senate Education Committee passed a pair of bills authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). AB 1397, known as the California Community Colleges Fair Accreditation Act of 2015, will require more transparency and consistent standards in the application of statewide community college accreditation. AB 1385 will give community colleges the right to vote on assessments for legal fees accrued by the current accrediting body. The bills now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“These bills provide the necessary transparency and due process to ensure that colleges are evaluated fairly,” said CFT President Joshua Pechthalt. “The students of California need these bills because they help shift money away from needless bureaucratic paperwork and into creating more course offerings so young people have greater access to much needed higher education.”

Inspired by the often unnecessary, expensive, and sometimes illegal actions by the Accrediting Commission on Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), AB 1397 imposes new standards that include avoiding conflicts of interest, establishing a right to appeal sanctions, and ensuring public access.

With bipartisan support, the Assembly overwhelmingly passed AB 1397 (61-18) and AB 1385 (62-18) in June.

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The CFT represents over 25,000 faculty in thirty community college districts, and 120,000 educational employees at every level of the education system, from Head Start to UC. More info: www.cft.org.

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