GCC secures highest level of accreditation

Glendale Community College has received the highest level of accreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, according to local school officials.

The announcement by David Viar, the college's superintendent/president, came after local school officials spent two years evaluating how the college meets the 120 standards outlined by the accrediting commission.

"Everyone associated with [Glendale Community College] in the past who helped build a foundation of excellence and those serving the college today share in this significant accomplishment," Viar said in a statement.

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Over the past two years, about 75 Glendale Community College faculty, classified staff, administrators and students divided into nine teams to develop a 477-page self-evaluation report, which provided evidence of how the college is meeting the commission's standards and identified two areas for improvement in a 16-page document called the Quality Focus Essay.

The first improvement involves better integrating plans tied to the college's technology, facilities, student equity and strategic plans, and suggests creating a centralized system to track them, which would lead to a more efficient system to monitor their implementation.

The second area seeks to improve the quality of data to draw meaningful conclusions about educational services and programs, and officials plan to examine how they collect, enter, process and manage data from student groups or other areas.

"A self-reflective institution must analyze the data it has collected and scrutinize its own process to be confident in the integrity of the data," according to the Quality Focus Essay.

In late 2016, the college was also visited by 11 community college professionals over four days.

By comparison, since June 2015 — during the last four cycles of accreditation visits to community colleges in California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands — only eight colleges received reaffirmation of accreditation for the full seven-year term.

Twenty-seven colleges received reaffirmation for 18 months, while six were given a warning and four were placed on probation.

During the same time period, Glendale Community College is the only community college out of the 14 in the Los Angeles region to have received the highest level of accreditation on the commission's first-time review.

The accreditation follows findings released last month by the Equality of Opportunity Project that ranked Glendale Community College as a top college for students' upward income mobility.

The study defined a college's mobility rate based on the percentage of its students who are fromlow-income families in the bottom fifth of income distribution who ultimately end up in the top fifth of income distribution.

Among colleges with 300 or more students per cohort, Glendale Community College ranked seventh out of 10 on the mobility report card, according to Wendy Grove, public information coordinator for the college.


Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

Twitter: @kellymcorrigan

Copyright © 2017, Glendale News-Press

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