An independent panel on Friday instructed City College of San Francisco's accreditor, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, to reconsider its decision last year to terminate the college's accreditation. The commission appointed a five-member panel to rule on the college's appeal of the termination decision. While City College may have deserved that decision when it was made, the panel ruled, the college's efforts to fix its problems during the last six months deserve a look by the commission.
"CCSF was not in substantial compliance with accreditation standards and eligibility requirements as of June 7, 2013," the panel said. "However, for the reasons discussed above, ... there is 'good cause' for a consideration of CCSF’s achievement of compliance with accreditation standards and eligibility requirements though January 10, 2014 and up to and including the end of the evidentiary hearing sessions on appeal (May 21, 2014)."
The panel directed the commission to set aside its termination decision until it can consider the expanded body of evidence on City College's progress.
There are two other ways the college could avoid losing its accreditation, and almost certainly shutting down as a result. Last week the commission announced a change in its policies to create the option of a "restoration" period during which the college could get an extra two years to come into compliance. And a lawsuit San Francisco's city attorney filed, which seeks to block the commission's termination action, is due in court in October.
A statement the commission distributed on Friday included the headline "CCSF Loses Appeal on Termination." That claim apparently was based on the panel's rejection of much of City College's arguments in its appeal.
The college quickly fired back to "set the record straight" with a news release of its own.
"The ACCJC’s statement earlier today creates the misleading impression that City College of San Francisco has 'lost' its appeal to the ACCJC," the release said.
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