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COC earns highest accreditation rating

Result means more state funding for college, better-trained employees

Posted: February 10, 2009 1:29 a.m.
Updated: February 10, 2009 12:00 p.m.
After a nearly two-year-long application process, College of the Canyons is one of only two community colleges in the state to earn the highest accreditation status by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

"It's good for the overall economic health of the community," college spokeswoman Sue Bozman said.
Having a high accreditation status garners more state funding for the college, which provides quality student and faculty services, Bozman said.

"The end results are better-trained employees, which is a benefit to local businesses and puts money back into the community," she said.

The commission reaffirmed the college's status this week, commending it for its wide array of services, including strong commitment to student success, collaborative governance, community partnerships and professional development opportunities.

With unemployment rates reaching almost 10 percent, L.A. County's highest in more than a decade, the accreditation gives students the confidence that what they are getting is a quality education for $20 a unit, Bozman said.

"We have a broad mission," Bozman said. "We provide transfer education for those seeking an advanced degree, as well as one-year certificate programs for those that need to get back into the workforce right away."

Full accreditation means the college has no special qualifications or probation periods to meet.

"Accreditation is about accountability," said Mitjl Capet, COC assistant superintendent. "When we say we're going to do something, we plan for it, we do it, and we evaluate what we've done."

During the commission's peer review, Commission visiting team chair Robert F. Agrella, president of Santa Rosa's community college, praised COC for its entrepreneurial attitude.

"When you walk across the campus, there is a spirit and enthusiasm that comes through, and that's important," he said. "I think that's part of the flavor of an institution."

Argella said he never prepared an accreditation report with fewer improvement recommendations


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