Accreditation deficiencies of college discussed | Board of Trustees

Luis Guzman

In a special meeting involving accreditation reports, the Board of Trustees were told to change the ways things operated on Thursday, Sept.18.

Dr. Marie Smith, a former college president and member of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, served as a consultant for Cerritos College in regards to the action letter the school received by ACCJC.

Dr. Smith praised the school for meeting most of the accreditation standards set by ACCJC. However, she did discuss that the board should consider the issues that were involved in the report, including the ones that mentioned governing, leadership and the board of trustees.

She said, “The college has a responsibility to rectify the issues within a year. The board needs to handle the best way to do that and (the board) is going to decide the best way to do that.

“(The board) needs to think about some of the actions it has taken and what it means and change the behaviors that don’t go along with those policies.”

Dr. Smith talked about the three deficiencies and eight areas of improvement. The three deficiencies that the school has to work on is degree and certificate outcomes, leadership and government and board development.

Carmen Avalos, board of trustees president, expressed the importance that this meeting had for the community of Cerritos College moving forward.

She said, “It’s a learning process for all of us, and so I think that everybody is trying to get as much information as possible; get as much feedback as possible to be able to bring that all together and obviously move forward with, I think, the best decisions possible.”

Avalos said that the focus for the board is still the success of the students. She said that making the changes is a process and assures students that she is committed to addressing the concerns of the ACCJC.

The school is expected to do the follow-up report on March 15, 2015, to address the deficiencies.

ACCJC is expecting Cerritos College to fix the deficiencies in two years and fix the areas of improvement in three years.

Here is the URL to the report.