Accreditation Site Visit Recap

March 13th, 2017 - 4:06pm

The following recap is provided for your consideration. Let me take this opportunity to once again thank the many faculty, staff, and administrators who contributed to the success of this process. We are able to tell our positive story because of your individual and collective commitment to the success of our students. Thank you!


Recap from the Accreditation Visiting Team Exit Session

After spending four days on College of Marin’s (COM) campuses, the visiting team provided preliminary information about their findings as a compass and barometer to give the College a sense of what they might include in their report to the Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community Colleges (ACCJC). Team Chair Dr. Roger Schultz began by stating that COM’s Institutional Self Evaluation Report (ISER) was very thorough. He also thanked the campus community for being accommodating when asked to provide additional evidence and/or data. The team was encouraged by participation and interest at the forums held at each campus and commended the relationship COM has with the community.

Commendations on the ISER were noted as areas that the College was exemplary in not only meeting but going above and beyond what was required in the Standards. These areas included: 
•    Regular review and revision of the mission, educational master plan, and strategic plan;
•    Library and the Lib Guides with programs, clubs, and more, which are helpful to students from diverse backgrounds;
•    New Full-time Faculty Academy;
•    COM’s exceptional collegial environment, with an effective Participatory Governance System;
•    Research and corresponding implementation, particularly related to FLT, Basic Skills, and student support;
•    COMmon Read for making the most of events that furthered discussion of the selected book—the artistic logo was also noted; and
•    Board of Trustees evaluation of meetings and implementation of change such as study sessions in order for board members to gain greater understanding of topics on the agenda.

Areas for improvement included:
•    Evaluation of employees makes use of the results of the assessment of learning outcomes to improve teaching and learning;
•    Inconsistencies between what is on syllabi and what is in the Course Outline of Record;
•    Course-level student learning outcomes need to be identified and gathered systemically so data can be disaggregated; and
•    Hiring procedures need to be addressed to be consistent across all positions in order to serve diverse populations.

Finally, Dr. Schultz noted areas where the team believes the College is meeting the Standard but there is an opportunity to take it to the next level. These areas included:
•    Timely and more proactive review of policy and procedure structure;
•    Tutoring for online education must expand beyond the Online Writing Center; 
•    Basic Skills Department needs more active involvement with the Math Department;
•    When reviewing assessments across math and English multiple measures need to be utilized for application to student success;
•    Reduce the number of general education learning outcomes as assessments are being completed in 40 categories and while admirable it is not sustainable; and
•    Use outcomes assessment data to strengthen the relationship between assessment and learning for all student populations

Although the visiting team left COM last week, their work is not done. The team will prepare the draft report and send it to ACCJC. After review, the team chair will receive the report back from ACCJC and will send it to COM for review and correction of factual errors that may have been included. The College then submits the report back to the team chair for submission to ACCJC. It is expected that ACCJC will review the report at its June 2017 meeting. COM expects to have the final report within 30 days of the June meeting.


[Email sent to faculty, staff, and administrators 3/13/2017]