These days, CCSF is showing up in the news with more woes than wows. That’s about to change. This is the moment for us to look to the future.
While some folks are still nervous about our accreditation status, there is also anticipation of a new possibility ahead. Many of us see the new leadership and public attention as an opportunity for growth and innovation. Special Trustee Agrella is making critical money-saving choices, and Chancellor Brice is pushing us to strive toward excellence. By the way, yes, I have been accused of being a reckless optimist before, but I don’t care; I’m going there. I’m a believer. I believe we can make it happen—we can hold onto our accreditation, change and grow.
Every time I attend an Accreditation Committee meeting I hear a similar message. We’re moving forward. There are accountability structures in place. Someone is in charge of every standard CCSF was cited for on the ACCJC’s list. We have a new administration and leadership with a few key positions soon to be filled. Our new leadership is set to steer us in the right direction. Employees of the college will have the opportunity to meet our new leadership on September 17th for our next professional development event. The plan is to have a campus-wide vigorous discussion about accreditation. We have to educate ourselves and stay informed of the sweeping changes at our college if only to fight back the nausea that rises when we think of our beloved City College closing.
I find it inconceivable that our new administrators competed for their positions only to walk away after a few months of service. I believe they’ve signed on with us because they have a vision of where CCSF needs to go; they believe in us and have enough talent and skills to take us to a new level. They are delegating and collaborating with staff and faculty. They are working on meeting the standards—quickly. I’m not afraid of change, especially when it gives us a chance at surviving the worst possible outcome. I have no doubt that they want the college to remain accredited as much as we do.
Not surprisingly, our worries have become a national issue and concern. Many people are championing our cause. It’s wonderful that people care about us. I’d also like this energy to get directed toward the greater causes of underfunding in public education. As a great nation, we can afford to spend far less on the prison industrial complex and bloated military budget and far more on education, starting with preschool. We can’t expect to disinvest in our society’s public programs and infrastructure and have extraordinary outcomes. We must educate people in order to empower them with the resources to shape their own destinies. As a community college, our role as public servants must continue to be refined and strengthened if we are to remain relevant.
In terms of meeting the ACCJC’s standards, the good news is that most departments at CCSF are fully up to speed with SLOs and program review. All the other big stuff that we were cited for is going to rest on our new leadership. We have to trust that they’ve got it under control.
I, for one, am keeping those folks, and all of us, in my prayers. They are responsible and accountable for moving CCSF forward. I think we need to let go a little and let them do their jobs while we do ours. For those who really must know the fine details, the college is giving the play-by-play on our own accreditation action plan at http://ccsfforward.com. Anyone can see who’s in charge of what. And, it gets updated regularly.
This is the moment for us to cast our gazes on the horizon of hope while taking careful steps to get there as a unified community.