Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Higher Learning Commission Puts PCC on Probation

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM

According to a public disclosure notice released by Pima Community College today from the Higher Learning Commission, the HLC has decided to put the college on probation effective April 6, 2013.

Here are some points from the notice, but you can also read it in its entirety here:

Understanding Probation
Probation is public status signifying that conditions exist at an accredited institution that make it no longer in compliance with one or more of the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation. The period of probation is not more than two years, commencing with the date that the Board placed the institution on probation. During the probation period, the university’s accreditation status continues and it has the opportunity to remedy the concerns that led to the probation.

Recent Board Action
On April 6, 2013, the Higher Learning Commission placed Pima County Community College District on Probation. The Commission’s Board of Trustees took this action because of concerns related to integrity, financial management, personnel policies and procedures, shared governance, Board oversight of the institution, and systemic and integrated planning. The Board based its action on the findings of an evaluation conducted as a result of complaints received by the Commission about the College.

Next Steps
The College is required to file a monitoring report no later than August 1, 2013, outlining a plan by which it will establish conformity with the Commission’s Assumed Practices related to complaints and grievance procedures(Assumed Practice A.4) and to faculty oversight of the curriculum (Assumed Practice B.2.c) by July 2014. The College is also required to file a comprehensive self-study no later than July 2014 or eight weeks prior to the comprehensive evaluation. The self-study must provide evidence that the College has resolved the concerns of
the Board identified in the Probation action and evidence that the College meets the Criteria for Accreditation.

In a press release issued by the college, a message from PCC's new chancellor, Zelema Harris, was included. Harris reiterated some of the same information that is in the HLC notice.

Harris ended her message:

We can use this opportunity to improve services to our students and the community. Toward that end, I will begin working with key constituencies to create a strategic plan that will allow PCC to address areas in need of improvement.
I will update you with more information as the College creates its response plan. I will present an update at the May Governing Board meeting.

The HLC re-accredited PCC for 10 years in 2010, and I believe that we can successfully restore the HLC’s and the public’s trust in the College.

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