Cuesta College’s accreditation is reaffirmed!

Accreditation is how educational institutions assure and improve the quality of their programs. California community colleges must apply to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education. The process focuses on self-evaluation, peer review and quality improvement.

What’s the background? In February of 2013, the ACCJC placed Cuesta College on warning, the least severe level of sanction. Eight months later, the college submitted a follow-up report to the commission. An evaluation team visited the campus in November, and in January of 2014, the 19-member commission met to decide whether the warning status would be lifted.

What did the accreditation group say? According to ACCJC’s Feb. 7, 2014, letter: “The commission took action to remove warning and reaffirm accreditation.” The letter also complimented the college in its work: “The commission commends Cuesta College on the depth and quality of the continuous quality improvement processes now in place … Congratulations to all.”

What’s next? Cuesta returns to the normal accreditation evaluation cycle. We are working on the next report, which must be submitted by summer 2014.

What’s the impact on students?  Reaffirmation means that any lingering questions about Cuesta’s status have been answered. Students will continue to see no impact –  no change in instruction or service from our outstanding faculty and staff. A longer-term positive impact is that the college can now ask the commission to allow more programs and online courses for the fall 2014 semester. As a result, you may see more options in online courses in the coming year.

Where can I get more information? Cuesta has an online accreditation site where you can get more details at any time. Visit http://www.cuesta.edu/aboutcc/planning/accreditation.