Oceanside CA— On Thursday, October 6, MiraCosta College concluded a four-day visit from a team from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC), a peer evaluation system of granting accreditation that ensures overall educational quality and institutional effectiveness. The team, lead by West Hills Community College Chancellor Dr. Frank Gornick, spent time at each of MiraCosta College’s locations, and interviewed 128 faculty, staff, students, administrators and community members plus conducted three public forums. The team also spent time assessing programs and poring over data and reports.
The lead-up to this visit included years of preparation, including a self-study evaluation and the production of a 420-page self-study that was submitted to the ACCJC. The document is available for review on the MiraCosta College website at miracosta.edu/accreditation.
“The entire MiraCosta College community strives every day to meet the needs of our students and community in new and innovative ways,” said Dr. Sunny Cooke, MiraCosta College superintendent/president. “The visitors commented positively about the many efforts to help develop our students and the willingness of all constituent groups to engage in dialogue about matters of governance, planning and continuous improvement.”
At its exit interview, held on October 6, the visiting team offered several commendations, including to:
- The Board of Trustees, for its strong leadership and unity
- The college’s Business and Administrative Department and the two consecutive Distinguished Budget Presentation awards it received from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States.
- The Student Services area, in particular the LGBTQIA Safe Spaces Program and the Student Equity efforts, including the Student Equity Department and the Social Justice and Equity Center.
- The Technology and Career Institute in Carlsbad for its innovative approach to career training.
- The report itself, which was well written, well organized and easy to read.
- The college’s inclusion of intramural athletics, which provides the opportunity for students to participate in sports at many levels.
The next step in the evaluation process is the issuance of a report from the team, which will be sent to ACCJC accreditation commission office and to MiraCosta College Superintendent/President Dr. Sunny Cooke for review. Following the review of the report, in January, the commission will take action on the college’s accreditation status.
The ACCJC accreditation process provides assurance to the public that the education earned at the institution is of value to the student who earned it; and employers, trade or profession-related licensing agencies, and other colleges and universities can accept a student’s credential as legitimate.
“Many months of hard work went into getting ready for the visit and everyone did a great job,” said David Broad, president of MiraCosta’s board of trustees. “We all eagerly look forward to receiving the commission’s full report.”