Education

City College submits report to try to keep accreditation

Friday, March 15, 2013

City College of San Francisco will know in a few months if it will remain open or if it will have to close. The college had until Friday, March 15 to come up with a plan to fix many of its problems. Now it's all up to the accrediting commission.

City College officials presented three documents, the main one being the showcase report. It is 343 pages long and was emailed Friday afternoon to the committee.

The long-awaited report is said to be as good as it gets. The president of the board of trustees, John Rizzo, says he's satisfied with what they accomplished.

"It had hundreds of hours, possibly thousands of work into it by hundreds of people, faculty, staff and administration," said Rizzo.

The main document outlines what City College of San Francisco has done to address 14 deficiencies found by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Among them, City College was told it had to find ways to become financially stable. So far, the college has lowered teacher salaries and cut back on the number of classes offered -- much to the dissatisfaction of teachers and students.

"Trying to make our classrooms more crowded and the people who work here earn too little to survive here. We have some opposition to those changes, but we're all pulling together as best we can," said Bill Shields, a teacher.

Still, the college's financial outlook appears somewhat uncertain. Labor contracts have yet to be renegotiated.

Among the things the commission did not like was the college's low cash reserve of only 3 percent, but that's one of the deficiencies they managed to fix.

"Now we are going to be at 5 percent starting this year and we're going to go up to 8 percent after a few years," said Rizzo.

The board of trustees hopes what they presented will be enough to persuade the commission to extend their accreditation. Without it the college could not collect state funds and would have to close.

"Where are students going to go if they don't go here from San Francisco? They're going to have to go all the way to Skyline," said Mary Miers, a student.

"I would have to look for another job. It would really break my heart because I really love this school and our students," said Shields.

In April inspectors will arrive on campus to make sure that City College is complying and then they'll know the outcome of all of this sometime in early July.

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san francisco city college, education, lyanne melendez
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