COM’s Accreditation Reaffirmed for Seven Years

July 5th, 2017 - 4:05pm

News Contact:
Nicole Cruz
Office of the Superintendent/President
(415) 485-9508

COM’s Accreditation Reaffirmed for Seven Years

Accrediting Commission notes collaborative environment supporting student success efforts

KENTFIELD, CA—July 5, 2017—College of Marin’s (COM) accreditation status has been reaffirmed by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC/WASC) through 2024. In a formal letter from ACCJC Interim President Richard Winn, the Commission reaffirmed that COM provided evidence that it continues to be in substantial compliance with eligibility requirements, accreditation standards, and policies.

“This validates the hard work, forward thinking, and commitment to student success taking place across both campuses each day,” said Superintendent/President Dr. David Wain Coon. “Our students and the community can remain confident that the College is providing high-quality instruction and support services while striving for continuous quality improvement.”

COM received a formal letter from the Commission Wednesday, June 28. The letter complimented the College’s collective efforts, expressing appreciation for “the collaborative work that College of Marin undertook to prepare for institutional self-evaluation and to support the work of the external evaluation team.” The letter also thanked the College for “sharing the values and work of accreditation to ensure educational quality and to support student success.”

After a comprehensive two-year process, COM submitted its 403-page Institutional Self Evaluation Report to the Commission in January. The College hosted a team of 11 faculty and administrators from peer colleges within the California Community College system for a site visit March 6 through 9, 2017.  The team was tasked with validating COM’s self-evaluation report and then reporting its findings to the Commission for deliberation and determination of continued accreditation status. During the site visit, the team toured COM campuses; listened to feedback from internal and external communities of the College; and met with students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

“The Commission’s action to reaffirm College of Marin’s accreditation for the next seven years is an acknowledgment of a steadfast commitment by faculty, staff, and administration to ensure that all members of the community have access to equitable educational opportunities, said Board of Trustees President Diana Conti. “It also signifies a commitment to providing student-centered programs and services that the voters of Marin County believed in when they passed Measure B last year.” 

Upon completion of the site visit, COM received 10 commendations from the visiting team on matters of the board; the institution’s collegial environment and effective participatory governance system; innovative programs and services; development of a four-year budget model; as well as effective practices of reviewing and updating the College’s mission, educational master plan, and strategic plan.

“This is good news for College of Marin and the community,” said Senior Vice President of Student Learning and Student Services Jonathan Eldridge. “Our success is due to the dedication and hard work of the many people who participated in the accreditation process and everyone at the College who commit every day to the success of our students. We have work ahead of us to resolve the recommendations, but we will do so through an inclusive, focused approach with an eye toward continuous improvement over the next 18 months, 36 months, and beyond.”

Over the next 18 months, the College must take steps to correct two recommendations from the Commission. The first recommendation is to ensure there is consistent identification of student learning outcomes on course syllabi and that they correspond with the existing course outlines of record. The second recommendation is that the institution employ safeguards to ensure hiring procedures are consistently followed that address serving its diverse student population. 
Campus leadership will focus much of the upcoming activities prior to the start of the fall semester on engaging faculty and staff in conversations on how best to address the recommendations.  The next report from the College will be the follow-up report, due to the Commission by October 1, 2018.

California community colleges undergo an institutional self-study and accreditation evaluation process by a team of peer reviewers from other institutions every seven years. The process ensures colleges meet specific standards, and the education earned is of value to the student as well as other colleges and universities. ACCJC is one of six regional accrediting commissions authorized by the U.S. Department of Education.

About College of Marin

Established in 1926, College of Marin remains committed to educational excellence, providing equitable opportunities, and fostering success in all members of its diverse community. With campuses in Kentfield and Novato, students of all ages have affordable access to an exciting variety of credit and noncredit courses as well as community education classes for lifelong learning. College of Marin is one of 113 public community colleges in California and approximately 13,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually.

College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.