Accreditation Exit Report Lauds Mt. SAC

Accreditation Exit Report Lauds Mt. SAC

March 09, 2017 - 01:01 PM

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ Visiting Accreditation Team provided a glowing exit report on Mt. SAC after four days of interviews and meetings with over 60 campus groups.

“We were awed by the beauty of this college,” said Dr. Sunita Cooke, President of MiraCosta Community College and Accreditation Team Chair, who also praised Mt. SAC’s leadership and collegiate atmosphere.

Specifically, some of the areas that were applauded include the Bridge Program, the PIE process, Pathways, the college’s data-informed decision process, Financial Aid’s low default rate, and Mt. SAC’s noncredit programs.

“Across campus, we consistently heard lots of excitement and of the college’s commitment to students,” said Cooke. “There were no areas where the college was not meeting the standards.”

However, the visiting team did mention some areas that could see some improvement, including communicating the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) more clearly to students, evaluating the college’s shared governance process, and assessing bias in testing.

For Mt. SAC, the accreditation process began in 2013 with the selection of an accreditation steering committee. Working with numerous groups and departments, the committee oversaw the production of the college’s 550-page accreditation self-study report. Accreditation is the process by which community colleges are evaluated according the rigorous standards of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Normally, a community college is accredited for a six-year period. But this year, Mt. SAC is one of five colleges that has been allowed to opt for a seven-year accreditation.

The accrediting commission will issue a report on the college’s accreditation status after they meet in June.