Pima Community College was notified this morning by the Higher Learning Commission that it has been removed from sanction after demonstrating it is no longer at risk of not meeting Criteria for Accreditation.
The decision, reached during a Feb. 23 meeting of the HLC Board of Trustees, was based on the submission of considerable evidence by the College demonstrating progress in areas of concern as well as site visit by a Peer Review Team in September.
“This is wonderful news for current and prospective students,” said Chancellor Lee Lambert. ““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 standard. 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 contribute to our region’s economic development.”
The College had retained its fully accredited status throughout the process, but was placed On Notice in March 2015 out of concern that the College could fall out of compliance with several specific criteria. This launched a considerable effort by the College, involving hundreds of faculty, staff and others, to develop the processes and action steps needed to move the College solidly into compliance.
PCC will now shift its efforts to an upcoming Comprehensive Evaluation expected in Fall 2018 or Spring 2019. This evaluation is a routine part of the 10-year accreditation process.
“We are turning our attention now to building on this recent hard work, focusing on continuous improvement, and strengthening the College to meet the changing needs of our students and community,” said Dolores Durán-Cerda, acting provost and executive vice-chancellor, whose office was charged in early 2013 with leading the College’s accreditation effort.
The Peer Review team had recommended that the College remain On Notice for six months to allow PCC to fill two open positions that focused on assessment of student learning. In the months between the site visit and the HLC Board meeting, the College filled the positions and began the related work.
Even then, the Reviewers complimented the College’s progress, noting that “PCC has embraced a new culture.”
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Founded in 1969, Pima Community College is one of the largest multi-campus community college districts in the U.S. PCC offers degrees and certificates in more than 100 transfer and occupational programs on six campuses and more than 100 teaching sites throughout Pima County. To learn more, visit www.pima.edu or call (520) 206-4500.