Community colleges throughout California are facing sanctions from the agency that accredits colleges in the West, largely a result of the state cutting funding for several years as the federal government has stepped up performance standards.
The most severe cases are at the community colleges in San Francisco, San Luis Obispo and Eureka, where officials have issued sanctions one stop short of yanking accreditation – and have ordered the colleges to make plans to shut down.
Several others are facing milder sanctions from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, a division of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. This year the commission has put 10 campuses, including those in Modesto, Redding and San Jose, on the midlevel "probation" status. It has placed another 14 campuses – including those in Berkeley, Oakland, Merced and Fresno – on the low-level "warning" status.
"The problems colleges have run into with accreditation are abnormally acute at this point in time in California," said David Baime, a senior vice president with the American Association of Community Colleges.