Crafton Hills College and San Bernardino Valley College are among four colleges in California to receive a full seven-year reaccreditation from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). This is a vote of full confidence from education experts about the quality of the education provided by both campuses part of the San Bernardino Community College District. The good news arrived on Monday to Interim Chancellor Jose F. Torres, and he immediately sent his thanks to the campuses. “Our momentum keeps growing and today is proof of just that,” Torres wrote in an email. “We are poised to continue learning from each other, continue leading innovative practices to help students succeed, and continue making a difference in our communities.” The accreditation process has many steps, including a complete self-review and site visits, and interviews conducted by educators from around the western United States. The site visits, conducted in October, had to be completely virtual because of the ongoing pandemic. “Just as our classes have moved online, some of our accreditation processes were done that way as well, and our teams did a truly exemplary job adapting to this change,” said Dr. Anne Viricel, chair of the elected board overseeing the San Bernardino Community College District. “This is the highest level of accreditation an institution can receive. It is a rigorous review, and the caliber of our teaching shines through.” The accrediting commission looks at policies and procedures, communication, faculty expertise, student outcomes, and community responsiveness. The commission makes recommendations for further action in a written report that must be made available on the college websites. The commission also names highlights from the visit. San Bernardino Valley College received a special mention from the accrediting commission for leadership in serving the needs of students in three specific areas:
- Valley 360 Resource Center – which provides food or other resources to registered students in need.
- Generation Go! – which provides career services and mentoring to youth ages 16 to 24.
- Middle College High School – which provides a way for high school students to earn college credit while still in high school, accelerating training for careers and colleges.
“This commendation is the result of years of hard work and dedication on your part to make San Bernardino Valley College the amazing place of learning and student success that it is,” said SBVC President Diana Z. Rodriguez in an email to colleagues. “This is an outstanding accomplishment on the part of everyone who has worked so diligently to ensure that our first-ever virtual accreditation evaluation went smoothly and that SBVC’s exceptional progress since the last visit was showcased appropriately. A special thanks to Dr. Dina Humble and Dr. James Smith (Accreditation Liaison Officers), Dr. Celia Huston (faculty lead), and Kay Dee Yarbrough and Dena Peters for providing hours of support.”
At Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, the visiting ACCJC team awarded the same full seven-year accreditation. The visiting team applauded the institution’s transformation of the English and Math sequences to improve student success and the college’s efforts to support equity, inclusion, and mental health services. The ACCJC team was impressed by the college’s Guided Pathways work, distance education training and verification process, and use of qualitative and quantitative data for decision-making. They also praised the college’s real-time adaptability during the outbreak of the pandemic.
Crafton Hills College President Dr. Kevin Horan said he was exceptionally pleased by the review process and positive outcome.
“It takes a village as they say, and we have one awesome village,” Horan wrote in an email to campus. “Please join me in thanking our Accreditation Liaison Officer, Dr. Keith Wurtz, for the outstanding job he did in leading our accreditation efforts. Thank you to everyone who participated in the self-evaluation and team visit.”