June 28, 2021
Contact: Melissa Villarin
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California community college leaders are hailing the adoption of a social justice policy by the commission that accredits two-year colleges in California, Hawaii and Pacific territories, calling it a historic step in helping to strengthen student equity and success.
The policy adopted earlier this month states that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) “is committed to applying its leadership, advocacy efforts, and position of influence to dismantle historical and institutional racism and eradicate educational inequities.” It commits the commission to embed equity-minded and anti-racist approaches to new accreditation standards that apply to the region’s 137 colleges.
“This policy and subsequent accreditation standards will apply to all of California’s 116 colleges and align with the California Community Colleges Vision for Success,” said Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “The emphasis is correctly focused on scrutiny and change of practices that perpetuate inequities that hold students back.”
“Member colleges will be required to use data and evidence to develop practices to improve equity and expects that institutional policies and practices foster a sense of inclusion and belonging among its diverse stakeholders,” said California Community Colleges Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, PhD, who serves as a member of the accrediting commission.
In addition to guiding development of the commission’s 2024 standards, the social justice policy commits the commission to recruit more college professionals of color for peer review teams; recruit more professionals of color to serve on the commissions; and infuse anti-racism discussions into ACCJC’s professional development programs through conferences, symposiums, and webinars for member colleges and for ACCJC staff and commissioners.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.