Tag Archives: Notice

Accreditor removes PCC from sanction

Here is a message I shared with the College community earlier today regarding our status with the Higher Learning Commission, an organization that accredits community colleges, colleges and universities:

Colleagues,

I have great news. The Higher Learning Commission’s Board of Trustees has removed the College from Notice.

The College was notified in an Action Letter dated today from HLC President Barbara Gellman-Danley. [The Action Letter and accompanying Public Disclosure notification are available on our website.]

“During its meeting on February 23, 2017, the Board removed the sanction of Notice from the College. This action is effective as of the date the action was taken,” President Gellman-Danley writes. “The Board determined that the removal of the sanction was warranted based on evidence provided by the College, including the Notice Report, the report of the visiting team, the staff analysis of the sanction, and the College’s responses to these reports.”

This is wonderful news for current and prospective students. While we remained fully accredited as we sought to comply with HLC standards, removal from Notice is a crystal-clear indication to students that their school is operating and will continue to operate at a high level. These students, who have invested their time and money in us, deserve nothing less.

It is also wonderful news for the community. Pima County residents can rest assured we are an institution that is worthy of their support and can continue to significantly contribute to our region’s economic development.

Regaining the full confidence of our accreditor required a Herculean effort that spanned nearly four years and involved hundreds of employees – regular and adjunct faculty; exempt, non-exempt and temporary staff; and administrators — along with Governing Board members, students and community stakeholders.

The creativity and perseverance of our colleagues and friends has been phenomenal. As you might imagine, there are many, many people to thank. I want to express special gratitude to the Provost’s Office, which was charged in early 2013 with leading our accreditation effort and time and again responded admirably to the challenge.

I need to point out that, as we celebrate today’s achievement, we are preparing for our next Comprehensive Evaluation, part of the routine Standard Pathway of the HLC’s accreditation process.  This process will include developing an Assurance Argument and Evidence file, previously known as a Self-Study, as well as hosting a Comprehensive Evaluation Visit. We have been asked by the HLC to embed an Interim Report into the Assurance Argument in order to update the HLC Board on the status of items related to planning, budgeting, Developmental Education and the assessment of student learning.

We welcome the HLC’s interest in our institution, and confidently look forward to meeting and exceeding their standards now and in the future. We welcome the passionate interest so many have in PCC. The work we do matters. I am always proud to be part of PCC, and today, I am especially proud to lead a school that helps our neighbors climb the economic ladder and realize their personal, diverse vision of the American Dream.

Lee D. Lambert,
Chancellor

Accreditation update

 

Below is a message I shared earlier today with the College community:

I want to share a brief summary of information presented to the Governing Board by Bruce Moses, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Accreditation and Quality Improvement, at the Board’s Aug. 1 Study Session.

The topic, accreditation and the Sept. 26-27 Focus Visit by a team from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), is of obvious interest to the College community. Here are the major takeaways from the session.

Outcomes

As you know, the College is accredited by the HLC but is on Notice, which means we are at risk of being unable to meet one or more of HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. We submitted a Notice Report to the HLC on June 29, 2016. A timeline of important upcoming HLC-related events is available on the pima.edu website. A critical event will be the HLC Board of Trustees’ meeting Feb. 26-27 to determine the College’s institutional status.

HLC rules prohibit it from keeping PCC on Notice, or placing us back on Probation. These are the possible outcomes:

  • We are removed from Notice.
  • We are removed from Notice, but must submit one or more reports detailing our progress in areas in which the HLC says we need to improve. The HLC may make additional Focus Visits to the College.
  • The HLC issues an order requiring us to show causeas to why our accredited status should not be removed.

Conclusion

One point Bruce astutely drove home is the need for the College to keep making progress throughout the Fall semester. A PCC team will travel to Chicago in December for a hearing of the HLC’s Institutional Actions Council, which makes recommendations to the HLC Board of Trustees. At the hearing, it will be important for the PCC team to provide evidence that the College has been improving processes throughout the semester.

We are up to the challenge to continue to improve. I don’t have to tell you that we have made significant strides. Our faculty, staff, administrators and Board are responsible for the many positive changes at PCC.  Thank you for meeting the challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities to improve service to our students and community.