California Auditor Criticizes CCSF's Accreditor

June 27, 2014

The California State Auditor on Thursday issued a scathing report on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), the regional accreditor that has come under fire for its handling of the City College of San Francisco crisis.

The auditor's office said the commission acted in an inconsistent manner with its decision to terminate City College's accreditation. The report found that City College was given less time to come into compliance than were other institutions. It also criticized the commission for a lack of transparency.

In its recommendations, the auditor said the California community college system's chancellor should consider the possibility of finding a new accrediting body for the state's 112 community colleges. A spokesperson for the system said a single accreditor is the best approach, and that having multiple accreditors operate in the state would "create a number of distracting challenges."

The commission fired back at the auditor's findings, saying in a written statement that the state agency lacks the authority and expertise to audit the commission. "While the analysts attempted to be thorough," the commission said, "the lack of expertise in accreditation regulations and practice created difficulties."

In January the U.S. Department of Education renewed the commission's recognition. That process, which occurs every five years, gives accreditors the authority to act as gatekeepers for federal financial aid.

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