Pima Community College has reached a milestone as it2 works to emerge from probation when its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, approved the College’s 73-page plan to improve its operations in two key areas.
In a letter to Chancellor Lee D. Lambert, the HLC endorsed PCC’s Monitoring Report, which detailed its plan to conform to HLC Assumed Practice A.4., complaints and grievances, and B.2.c., faculty oversight of curriculum. Submitting the report by August 1 is one of the activities the HLC directed PCC to undertake when it placed the College in probation in April.
“The HLC’s acceptance of the Monitoring Report is unequivocal good news,” Chancellor Lambert wrote in a message to PCC employees. “It is an indication to students, the public and PCC employees that the College is on the right course as it works to regain the fullest confidence of the community and the HLC.”
In its review of the Monitoring Report, the HLC commended PCC for “involving a broad constituency of the College and developing sound plans” to address the Assumed Practices identified by the HLC as needing improvement.
“Though the report has outlined a complex agenda to address each of these Assumed Practices, the College will succeed in fulfilling its plans for conformity if it applies the same rigor and organization to the tasks as it did in developing the monitoring report,” the HLC said.
PCC has created a process to ensure that the Monitoring Report’s recommendations become reality.
A team of staff, faculty and administrators has been formed to make the changes in PCC policy and procedures specifically regarding complaints and grievances. Another committee has been charged with ensuring that the College follows up on all recommendations made in the Monitoring Report.
The Monitoring Report addresses two of several areas in which the HLC found PCC to be deficient when it put the College on probation. The report is the culmination of four months of self-examination that will broaden and intensify over the next 12-15 months into a top-to-bottom review of PCC operations known as an Institutional Self Study. PCC must submit a Self-Study Report by July 2014 that provides evidence PCC has resolved the concerns of the HLC and meets the HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation.
An HLC evaluation team will visit PCC in fall 2014, and in February 2015, the HLC Board will meet to determine whether the College can be removed from probation.