The accreditation process is one that encourages institutions to improve academic quality, institutional effectiveness, and ultimately, student success.
Classified Senate met with Associated Students of Los Medanos College Monday, Oct. 7 to talk about the accreditation that LMC is going through, in order to get student opinion on the requirements and whether or not the school met them this year.
“Our accreditation website team was impressed and pleased with how our students were so knowledgeable and how hands on they were with the process. They’re really invested in it,” said Senator of Classified Senate, Bethann Stone.
According to the Oxford dictionary, accreditation means, “the action or process of officially recognizing someone as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity.”
What this means for Los Medanos College, is if and when the college is accredited it receives federal funding, it is eligible for students to have financial aid, makes certificates and degrees to be transferable to other schools and allows students to be professionally licensed in their field.
“If we don’t get accredited, then all financial aid and federal funding will be cut. That, and certificates, transfer status and degrees would be worth nothing. It’s a really big deal,” said Chialin Hsieh from Planning & Institutional Effectiveness.
Not only does the accreditation affect students and the financial aid services available to them, it concerns the overall quality of the LMC governing board and campus as well.
“More importantly, it allows a self review of how we’re doing according to the accreditation standards, which have very specific thresholds,” said LMC president Bob Kratochvil.
Students have been encouraged to participate and help throughout the accreditation process, which has many different levels to it. The process is going through multiple subsections in each section, then to district for review and finally to peer review next year, to then be re-edited until the final draft is ready.
“I would say that student involvement in accreditation is not just important, but necessary. The college is ultimately made for the students,” said Senator of LMCAS, Nicholas Sessions. “As a student, there are issues that are impossible to perceive unless you are a student.”
A handful of students who are not in LMCAS attended the conjoined meeting and had words to say, but the turn out was lower than some would have hoped.
“Since we are at a community college, I feel that it is generally harder to get students more engaged and involved, but I do wish more students were aware of these things,” said LMCAS president, Thyra Cobbs.
Classified Senate interacted with students who were a part of student government, working on looking over draft pieces of the accreditation report.
“I really enjoy the opportunity to be involved in the accreditation process, because I see myself as a necessity in the process,” said Sessions. “I think that most staff can understand my opinions and more often than not, I feel properly represented.”
Evidence that will support that LMC has been meeting the requirements over the past six years will be collected through the month of November.