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June 9, 2016

Sharks and Jets and Accreditation

 

Hello Monarch Family:

Well, it doesn’t seem possible that almost one year ago, I wrote a similar email to you after appearing before the ACCJC Commission to discuss our Follow-Up Report.  This year, I went with Presidents and representatives from the eight other colleges in the LACCD as well as Chancellor Rodriguez to San Jose to visit with the ACCJC.  We looked like quite a formidable crew exiting the jet from LAX to San Jose and squeezing into a bunch of cabs to the hotel just outside the airport.

Last year, I went by myself to Oakland, where the Commission was meeting and where the town was preparing to host the first game of what would become the Golden State Warriors’ road to winning the NBA Championship. This year, instead of basketball excitement, the San Jose Sharks were on TV and managed to squeak out a win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on what will hopefully be their road to the NHL Championship.  I am not sure how the ACCJC managed to, once again, align their schedule with a sports contest of some import to Northern California.

Anyway, as you know, this was the first time that every college in the LACCD went through a comprehensive visit at the same time.  This was certainly a learning experience for our College and for our District, but it was also a new experience for the ACCJC.  The original schedule for this morning was supposed to begin at 9:30 with the Chancellor addressing the progress made thus far on the District Recommendations, followed by the colleges in 15-minute intervals.  Of course, the schedule was in alphabetical order, so Valley wasn’t scheduled to go until 11:30, in between Trade Tech and West LA.  However, the schedule went awry, starting with the Chancellor’s time with the ACCJC, largely because I do not think the ACCJC anticipated how long they wanted to speak to the Chancellor and how much time they wanted to discuss his presentation after he left the room. 

Then, some schedule changes were made because of the Team Chairs’ schedules, and since they have to be in person or on the phone when each college is presenting, additional changes had to be made.  So, instead of going at 11:30, I went last at 3:15.  I was in the room with the ACCJC for about 7 minutes, which was a good thing since my flight back to LAX was scheduled to leave at 4:10.  Thanks to the hotel being close to the airport, a crazy taxi driver and TSA Pre-Check, I made it to my gate just as it was starting to board.  Unfortunately, because the ACCJC wanted to speak with Chancellor Rodriguez after they finished with all of the colleges, he did not make it onto the 4:10 flight. Good thing there was a 5:35 flight, too.

As with last year, the Commissioners all introduced themselves and our Team Chair, Dr. Thomas Greene, was on the phone.  I made a quick presentation, thanking the Team and the Team Chair for their positive visit to our campus, noting that the outcome of the visit was exactly what the process is designed to do:  affirm the things we are doing well and confirm the areas for improvement that we self-identified in our QFE and that were reflected in our Team’s Recommendations.  I then reviewed our progress on each Recommendation, noting that we had completely addressed Recommendation #2 regarding placement of our Transfer-of-Credit policies on our web page and ensured that those policies will appear in the 2016-2017 catalog.

When I completed my presentation, I was asked one question, which most of the colleges were asked as well.  One of the Commissioners asked why our Institution-set standards were not very aspirational, or as he referred to them, “stretch” goals.  In response, I discussed our efforts to address QFE #1 and Recommendation #1 regarding the use of data, and in response to a follow-up question about whether this effort was college-wide, I described several of our committees, how they use data, the role of the Institutional Effectiveness Council, and Ilene Sutter’s task of taking minutes at all shared governance committee meetings.  The ACCJC thanked me for my comments and sent me on my way. 

The mood in the room was very positive.  Because the Chancellor was not on our plane, I do not know what his follow up conversation with the Commission entailed, but when I have any details, I will let you know.  At least three times today, Dr. Barbara Beno, who heads the ACCJC, came out of the meeting for various reasons, and each time, she offered many compliments about how we, as a district and as colleges, handled the March 2016 visit.  I think that was unprecedented.

As you know, the Commission voted throughout the day on each college, and we should expect the results by late June/early July.  Overall, I think LAVC did well, especially since we were deemed completely compliant with all of the Standards and the Eligibility Requirements.

You will note that I attached a photo to this email.  I couldn’t resist because I couldn’t have made this up if I tried….

Again, thank you for all of your hard work this past year on our Accreditation effort.  Y’all made my job easy today with the ACCJC!

QOTDW

Dr. Erika Endrijonas
President
Los Angeles Valley College
 

Download a copy of President Endrijonas Campus Update Email - June 9, 2016 [PDF: 74 kB]; Attachment: ACCJC Meeting Sign Photo [JPG: 116 kB] 

 

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