ACCJC: College Doing 'Amazing Work'

A horizontal photo of men and women in a row smiling.
By Jill Dolan

March 13, 2024 - 05:23 PM

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Peer Review Team commended Mt. San Antonio College’s commitment to students and its efforts to address five core inquires identified in the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER) review.

The team was on campus Feb. 28 and Feb. 29, and its focused site visit included meeting with more than 60 different employees on campus and holding an open forum. The members of the team were Dr. Matt Wetstein, President of Cabrillo College and the team chair; Dr. Pedro Avila, President of Gavilan College A horizontal photo of three men and one womanand the team co-chair; Dr. Linda Carvalho Cooley, professor at Reedley College; Mr. Ulises Velasco, Vice President of Student Services, Mendocino College; and  Dr. Gohar Momjian, ACCJC Vice President.

“We are here to evaluate the college as a whole in meeting the standards, and to provide recommendations for improvement but also recognize accomplishments,” said Wetstein, during the exit report. “You have a lot to be proud of as a college.”

The team recognized high impact practices including the strong commitment to social justice in the Mt. SAC mission, technology resources provided to students, the transparent governance processes, a willingness to focus on self-improvement, the collegewide commitment to sustainability, and comprehensive student support services.

The team highlighted the Gray/Red Shirt Academic Support Program (GRASP) and Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) programs, which are aimed at strengthening student leadership, retention, and involvement in pursuit of student success.  “We are most impressed with the holistic support services provided,” Wetstein said of the GRASP program. “The quality of this program has the potential to be a showcase for other colleges.”

The team also applauded efforts and improvements in three core inquiry areas: Human Resources Evaluation Processes, Process for Evaluation of the Governance Structure, and Timely and Regular Review of Board Policies and Procedures.

“You’re doing amazing work,” Avila said during the exit report. “It’s obvious you care about each other and care about your students.”

One area of concern for team members was regular and substantive interaction in distance learning courses after a random sample was reviewed and it was found that a “notable number did not appear to have regular and substantive interaction (RSI) between students and instructors.”

“This is a good opportunity for self-reflection and improvement,” Wetstein said.

Wetstein recognized the efforts of the core accreditation team and the hard work of the ISER authors. These are: Kelly Fowler, Accreditation Liaison Officer and Instruction Vice President; Barbara Mezaki and Allie Frickert, Faculty Accreditation Coordinators; Lianne Greenlee, Assistant Dean, Accreditation and Planning; and Patty Quinones, Research & Institutional Effectiveness Director.

The visiting team will write a final draft of its peer review report and submit it to the ACCJC for review. The Commission will hold its regularly scheduled meeting June 5 and June 6, during which time it will determine Mt. SAC’s accreditation status. The College will be notified within 30 days of that meeting.