Members of the public have an opportunity to help address one of the most important challenges facing Pima Community College: probation.
PCC is looking for two dozen volunteers willing to serve on a series of committees that will spearhead the effort to address deficiencies in College operations identified by the Higher Learning Commission.
The HLC placed Pima on probation on April 6 after determining that the College failed to meet several elements of accreditation. Over the next year, Pima must demonstrate to the HLC that the deficiencies are being remedied.
“The committees we’re forming will help chart the course that will lead us out of probation,” said Provost Dr. Jerry Migler. “They will play a critical role helping to restore the HLC’s full faith and confidence in Pima by showing that we’re able to fulfill the accreditation criteria.”
The committees’ primary task is to prepare a top-to-bottom review of the College known as an Institutional Self-Study. While the bulk of the committees’ membership will comprise Pima’s faculty, staff and administrators, Migler said a critical goal is to make sure that the public’s voice in this process is heard.
“It is clear that the community we serve cares deeply about Pima and its future,” Dr. Migler said. “There is no doubt in my mind that the process will be strengthened – and the end result will be better – if members of the public have a seat at the table.”
But, Migler noted, serving on the committees will require a considerable time commitment. Meetings could be weekly or bi-weekly, with the possibility of additional work in between the regular meetings.
“We will be looking for individuals who’ll be with us for the long haul,” he said.
A description of the role of each of the committees was provided to all Pima employees by the Provost’s Office in a June 3 email. More information about the Institutional Self-Study and the committees can be found on the PCC Addresses Probation page of the College website.
Members of the public willing to serve on the committees should complete this survey by 10 a.m., Tuesday, June 25. Those selected to serve will be notified via email and/or phone call of their committee assignments no later than June 27. There will be an initial meeting for all committee members on June 28 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the 29th Street Coalition Center, 4355 E. Calle Aurora.
The Institutional Self-Study must be submitted to the HLC in July 2014, eight weeks before the commission returns to Pima for a comprehensive evaluation visit. The study largely will focus on the HLC’s five criteria for accreditation, which include requiring colleges and universities to provide “provide high quality education.”
“It is significant that the HLC’s examination of Pima did not question our academic programs,” Dr. Migler said. “The quality of the education we provide remains top-notch. As the HLC’s Public Disclosure Notice clearly indicated, Pima was placed on probation ‘because of concerns related to integrity, financial management, personnel policies and procedures, shared governance, Board oversight of the institution, and systematic and integrated planning.’ ”