ACCJC backs plans

Substantive changes approved

Los Medanos College recently received official notification of approval from the Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community Colleges (ACCJC). The proposed substantive changes were for the Brentwood Center and the Off-Site Police and Fire Academies.

Substantive changes must be approved by the ACCJC prior to a student being able to complete 50% or more of a program at an offsite location, or at least six months prior to an accreditation re-affirmation visit, which is slated to take place next Fall between September and October 2014.

Within the next six months, a team from the Commission will make a visit to the Brentwood Center and the Off-Site Academies. The campus will then be notified when the date of the visit is finalized in collaboration with the Off-Site locations.

“I am confirming that both proposals received ACJCC approval,” said Contra Costa Community College District Communications Director Tim Leong. “When programs are changed substantially, the college is required to notify the Commission of the changes and to ensure review of the program and services to support the students are adequate as if the program was taught on our campus. After all, the college is the accredited body, not the offsite entity teaching the program.”

Two different teams have worked diligently on developing these proposals for nearly a year. The college is required to document in these proposals how students will receive access to student services offered at the main campus. These proposals were submitted to ACCJC in mid-October, and they were ultimately approved on November 14, 2013 at an ACCJC meeting.

According to Senior Dean Kiran Kamath, the proposals were composed by a couple of outstanding teams of people.

“The college is most appreciative of the following for their diligent work and contributions to each of these proposals,” said Kamath. “Brentwood Center Substantive Change Proposal: Richard Livingston, Jill DeStefano, Kevin Horan, Sharen McLean, Sophia Ramirez, BethAnn Robertson, and Peter Garcia. Public Safety Programs: Fire Academy and Police Academy, Dave Wahl, Mike Grillo, Natalie Hannum, Richard Livingston, Robin Armour, Shirley Baskin, Sandi Schmidt, and BethAnn Robertson.”

In addition, with LMC’s commitment and enrollment growth in the Brentwood Center, the number of classes offered to students have increased. The Brentwood Center has also recently received official Center Status from the Chancellor’s Office.

“Since students may now be able to complete 50% or more of a degree at Brentwood, we began the process to apply for Substantive Change about a year ago,” said Kamath.

Students in the Fire and Police Academies also take classes that are principally off-site. The Fire Academy is located in the Fire Training Center in Concord, whereas the Police Academy is offered in collaboration with the Sheriff’s office in Pittsburg. After students complete their pre-requisite courses at the campuses in Pittsburg and/or Brentwood, they are eligible to apply for the Fire Academy program. The first week of class of the Academy takes place on campus, while all of their hands-on training then takes place at the Fire Training Center in Concord.

“Part of the process to apply for Substantive Change includes documenting how the college supports students at these off-site locations, how student services are accessible to these students so that these students can succeed in their education,” said Kamath.

Leong further added that the approval is good news for the college and students.

“The approval is good news for the students in the programs so they can be assured they are meeting the college’s standards.”