PCC West Campus

Pima Community College's West Campus.

Courtesy photo

Pima Community College is well on its way to successfully emerging from probation, College leaders said last week in detailing the steps PCC will take to improve programs and services to students and the community. 

“I do believe we will get off probation,” Interim Executive Vice Chancellor for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Zelema Harris told about 150 employees, students and community volunteers at the PCC 29th Street Coalition Center on Nov. 15, seven months after learning in April that its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, had placed it on probation. 

The HLC has directed the College to undergo an Institutional Self-Study, a top-to-bottom self-examination, to determine how well PCC’s operations and policies are meeting criteria. After examining evidence in 125 areas, PCC’s 14 Self-Study committees determined that 106 areas (about 85 percent) meet criteria at either a high or acceptable level. Among the areas in which PCC is operating at a high level are the availability of its instructors for student inquiry, its educational infrastructure and its resource base.

“Our high performance in areas that matter to students and the community indicates that PCC’s foundations are strong,” Chancellor Lee D. Lambert says.

Nineteen areas (about 15 percent) do not meet criteria. Of those areas, five concern deficiencies noted by the HLC when it placed the College on probation.  

What’s next

In areas where PCC meets criteria at a high level, committees will begin drafting sections of the Self-Study report.

In areas that acceptably meet criteria, PCC will identify internal subject-matter experts, examine national best practices, and plan for further improvement. 

 “Our goal is to go beyond minimum requirements,” Dr. Harris said. “We will do the right thing because that is in the best interests of students and their success.” 

In areas that do not meet criteria, PCC has assigned each to a team to make changes so that the College can fully meet criteria no later than May 1, 2014.

Chancellor Lambert commended the Self-Study committees on “amazing” work while noting that PCC has met a series of aggressive deadlines and is in some cases ahead of schedule in the Self-Study process. “The next step is to tell the story of the work we do for our students and the community,” he said.

College leaders noted other accomplishments:

 In July, it successfully submitted a Monitoring Report to the HLC regarding its plans to improve complaint and grievance procedures and faculty oversight of curriculum.

  • In addition to Dr. Harris, PCC has hired as Interim Community Campus President Dr. Sheila Ortego. Each has years of experience with the accreditation process and will provide instrumental support in the future.  

For more information, see the Pima Addresses Probation webpage.

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