Accreditation For Students

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is vital in attracting and retaining students and assures them that their education is valuable and recognized as such by peer (and transfer) institutions. Accreditation helps ensure that our completers are employment ready. Certain types of financial aid are only available to students attending accredited institutions. Students should be aware that, in addition to accreditation for the whole institution, specialized or professional accreditation may also be required for certain individual programs (like nursing, forestry, and dental hygiene).

What Steps are Involved in the Accreditation Process?

Reedley College’s accrediting agency, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) publishes a set of standards that have been developed according to applicable laws and regulations.  Reedley consults these standards and aligns our policies and practices to comply with these standards. 

On a regular cycle (every 6 years) Reedley conducts an assessment of and documents its performance compared to the standards and produces an Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (or ISER) and a Quality Focus Essay (QFE) to inform ACCJC of our practices and show how we comply with the standards.  Then an accrediting team visits the campus for 4 to 5 days to “field check” our report, speak with folks on campus, and ask any questions they may have after reading the ISER and QFE.  The visiting accreditation team is comprised of our peers – faculty and staff from other California community colleges or from the Pacific Islands.

At the end of their visit, the visiting team creates a report of their findings and determines our status, which could be any of the following:

  • Re-affirmation of accreditation (best case, or the following list or options in order of increasing levels of concern)
  • Warning
  • Probation
  • Show cause

Accreditation is an ongoing process, even though the formal check-in’s occur on a 6-year cycle (although if re-affirmation is not awarded, additional reporting at more frequent intervals may be required). 

Why Should Students Care About Accreditation?

Accreditation is vital in attracting and retaining students and assures them that their education is valuable and recognized as such by peer (and transfer) institutions.  Accreditation helps ensure that our completers are employment ready.  Certain types of financial aid are only available to students attending accredited institutions.  Students should be aware that, in addition to accreditation for the whole institution, specialized or professional accreditation may also be required for certain individual programs (like nursing, forestry, and dental hygiene).

How Might Students be Involved in the Accreditation Process?

If you are a member of the Associated Student Government at Reedley College you may already have read and approved sections of the college’s or ISER. Visiting team members will want to meet with ASG and may want to meet with other Student Club Officials. There will also be Open Forums (schedule to be posted here) at both Reedley and Madera during the week of the visit; the entire campus community is invited to attend and provide feedback directly to the visiting team.

Want to Learn More?

You can read the full text of Reedley College’s ISER and QFE.  If you want to know more about the accreditation process, visit the ACCJC’s web site or view the Reedley College accreditation video.
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