COS takes ‘Giant’ step toward reaffirmation
College of the Sequoias received its action letter Monday from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. The commission has removed COS from “show cause” status, noting COS’ hard work and decreasing the severity of sanction to warning.
The commission had a range of actions it could take:
-Revocation of accreditation (the most severe and in effect an order to close),
-Continuation of “show cause,”
-Probation (a less severe sanction),
-Warning (the least severe sanction).
Moving from “show cause” to full reaffirmation was not a realistic outcome. It takes at least a year to show the commission that new systems and processes are sustainable.
“We again want to say thank you to our students, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees and administration for all your hard work and commitment to COS,” COS Superintendent/President Stan Carrizosa said during a Feb. 10 press conference. “To be removed from ‘show cause’ is one of the greatest moments in college history, and perhaps more importantly, the genuine and extensive team effort and institutional culture change to COS 2.0 are the lasting results of this incredible transformation.”
COS 2.0 is the metaphor the college has used during the past year to describe its journey of improvement and organizational culture change – a transformation into a data-driven institution working within an ongoing cycle of self-assessment and self-improvement.
COS’ work is not complete, of course. Three recommendations must be further pursued and a follow-up report issued by the college Oct. 15. The recommendations cover planning, research capacity and evaluation of processes.
“In order to fully meet these recommendations and related standards we must follow our new model and complete the annual cycle for integrated planning to demonstrate the integration of institutional planning, resource allocation, implementation and re-evaluation,” Carrizosa said. “We must demonstrate use of our increased research capacity by compiling and providing data to guide institutional planning and resource allocation, program review and assessment, and decision-making for institutional effectiveness.
“Finally, we must demonstrate that we complete our annual cycle of systematic evaluation of our decision-making and budget development processes and use the results of those evaluations as a basis for improvement.”
The commission will send a visiting team following the Oct. 15 submission of COS’ follow-up report.
By way of comparison, Cuesta College, with whom COS consulted extensively during the past year, was placed on “show cause” two years ago. Cuesta improved from “show cause” to warning last year and was fully reaffirmed in this most recent round of commission actions.
You can view the report from the accrediting team that visited COS in November and the commission’s action letter here: http://www.cos.edu/Accreditation/Pages/default.aspx