“Santa Monica College is an outstanding community college,” according to a report prepared by an accreditation team that visited the college earlier this year. “There are many more areas for commendation than the team could ever acknowledge in a report such as this.”
The decision made by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) came nearly four months after an accreditation team spent several days on campus taking a close look at virtually all aspects of the college. The visit came after SMC completed its exhaustive self-study, which was produced after a months-long process involving scores of faculty, administrators, classified employees and students.
• Counseling for first-time students through such programs as the Student Success Seminar, Welcome Center, Back to Success program for probationary students and online counseling.
• The Associated Students’ “initiative and formidable organizational skills” in implementing the “Any Line, Any Time” program, which provides free rides on any Big Blue Bus for students and employees.
• The establishment of a global citizenship initiative with a global citizenship A.A. degree requirement and a Global Council.
• SMC’s commitment to and accomplishments in sustainability, ranging from facilities to curriculum.
• The successful enrollment recovery plan that has provided more financial stability.
• The continued work toward the goal of a 75 percent-25 percent full-time to part-time faculty ratio.
• Positive changes in the college climate and in participatory governance, with a particular nod to the Academic Senate for playing a “vital” role in these changes.
• Creation of thematically driven events for SMC’s mission of student success.
The team’s recommendations included:
• Building upon the master planning process and making the process uniform, sustainable and understandable to college constituents.
• Formalizing and codifying SMC’s student learning outcomes and institutional learning outcomes.
• Centralizing learning resources, particularly tutoring.
• Moving curriculum management from a paper-based to a web-based system.
• Instituting a training program for college personnel engaged in Human Resources data entry to reduce the error rate and ensure that data integrity is maintained.
• Redoubling efforts to complete a revised system of evaluation of faculty by students and distributing results to faculty in a timely manner.
• Establishing a district Code of Ethics covering all constituents.
• Developing a comprehensive professional development plan consistent with the college’s mission.
• Evaluating the college’s institutional research function to ensure appropriate staffing levels to support the college’s data needs.
“We are required to submit a follow-up report by Oct. 15 on two of the recommendations (institutional planning and institutional research),” Tsang said in an email to the college community. “Such follow-up reports are becoming quite standard, and it is significant that there will be no visit from the Accreditation Commission attached to the follow-up report.”
Tsang thanked “the entire college community for all of the excellent work that has resulted in the Accrediting Commission’s recognition of Santa Monica College’s excellence in the quality education we are providing to our students.”