Accrediting commission gives Solano College a thumbs-up

By From page A3 | February 12, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Solano Community College officials hosted a meeting Monday to go into more depth about news that the college is free of accrediting sanctions imposed for most of the past nine years.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges stated in a letter dated Feb. 7 that it took action to “remove warning (status) and reaffirm accreditation” for Solano College.

“Accreditation is reaffirmed when the institution substantially meets or exceeds the eligibility requirements, accreditation standards and commission policies,” the letter states. It continued to state that recommendations are now geared toward strengthening the college and not, as before, fixing situations “where the institution fails to meet the eligibility requirements, accreditation standards and commission policies.”

In a speech to those assembled Monday, Jowel Laguerre, the president/superintendent of the college, reminded everyone that despite the “uplifting announcement,” now isn’t the time to “rest on our laurels.”

“The test of excellence is doing an excellent job not merely when the accreditation team is coming, but by maintaining a continuous cycle of self-reflection and evaluation,” Laguerre said in his speech. “(The recent) announcement of being sanction-free is certainly a great accomplishment, but, an even greater accomplishment will be three years from now when we announce that accreditation has been reaffirmed without any further sanctions.”

The college first started on sanctions in 2005 when it got the lowest of sanctions, a warning. The sanctions were raised in 2008 to show cause, which is one step before the possible loss of accreditation. After holding warning and probation statuses, the college was taken off sanctions in 2010 but the next year the college found itself back on the improvement list with nine recommendations issued.

After a follow-up letter and a site visit in October and November 2013, plus an accreditation commission meeting in January, it was decided to release the college from any sanctions when the improvement level designation was met.

“Overall it’s a good feeling to see that the work we’ve been doing over the past couple of years has really paid off,” Laguerre said Monday in a telephone interview. “The nice thing about it is we’re almost at the halfway (point) before we have a visit.”

Institutions are on a six-year review schedule. Solano College isn’t scheduled for its regular review for another three years but at the midway point a midterm report is due. That occurs this fall, according to the commission letter.

The letter from the accrediting commission also stated that the college “must demonstrate to the commission at the time of the next regularly scheduled report that the recent changes implemented to resolve deficiencies and meet standards have been sustained.”

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.


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