What is Accreditation?
ACCJC defines accreditation as “…a status granted to an educational institution that has been found to meet or exceed stated criteria of educational quality. Institutions voluntarily seek accreditation, and it is conferred by non-governmental bodies.”
The ACCJC lists two fundamental purposes of accreditation: to assure the quality of the institution and to encourage institutional improvement.
The Accreditation Process
The accreditation process is a six-year cycle during which the college is continuously engaged in the institutional review and submits regular reports to ACCJC including Annual Reports, Annual Fiscal Reports, and a Midterm Report in the third year following a comprehensive review. Every six years, colleges undergo a comprehensive self-study process culminating in a self-study report and a visit by an evaluation team.
The primary purpose of an ACCJC-accredited institution is to foster student learning and student achievement. An effective institution ensures that its resources, programs, and services, whenever, wherever, and however delivered, support student learning and achievement. The effective institution ensures academic quality and continuous improvement through ongoing assessment of learning and achievement and pursues institutional excellence and improvement through ongoing, integrated planning and evaluation.
There are four Standards that work together to define and promote student success, academic quality, institutional integrity, and excellence. The mission provides a framework for all institutional goals and activities. The institution provides the means for students to learn and achieve their goals, assesses how well learning is occurring and strives to improve learning and achievement through ongoing, systematic, and integrated evaluation and planning (Standard I). Student learning programs and support services make possible the academic quality that supports student success (Standard II). Human, physical, technology, and financial resources enable these programs and services to function and improve (Standard III). Ethical and effective leadership throughout the organization guides the accomplishment of the mission and supports institutional effectiveness and improvement (Standard IV). Integrating the elements of the Standards gives institutions the means to develop a comprehensive assessment of academic quality, institutional integrity and effectiveness, and a path to continuous improvement.
For additional information, please contact Jennifer Holmgren, Interim Director of Planning and the College Accreditation Liaison Officer.
All documents from and submitted to ACCJC can be found in the Accreditation section of the LBCC Archive site.
Standard I: Mission, Academic Quality and Institutional Effectiveness, and Integrity
The institution demonstrates a strong commitment to a mission that emphasizes student learning and student achievement. Using analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, the institution continuously and systematically evaluates, plans, implements, and improves the quality of its educational programs and services. The institution demonstrates integrity in all policies, actions, and communication. The administration, faculty, staff, and governing board members act honestly, ethically, and fairly in the performance of their duties.
Standard II: Student Learning Programs and Support Services
The institution offers instructional programs, library and learning support services, and student support services aligned with its mission. The institution’s programs are conducted at levels of quality and rigor appropriate for higher education. The institution assesses its educational quality through methods accepted in higher education, makes the results of its assessments available to the public, and uses the results to improve educational quality and institutional effectiveness. The institution defines and incorporates into all of its degree programs a substantial component of general education designed to ensure breadth of knowledge and to promote intellectual inquiry. The provisions of this standard are broadly applicable to all instructional programs and student and learning support services offered in the name of the institution.
StANdard III: Human, physical, technology, and financial resources
The institution effectively uses its human, physical, technology, and financial resources to achieve its mission and to improve academic quality and institutional effectiveness. Accredited colleges in multi-college systems may be organized so that responsibility for resources, allocation of resources, and planning rests with the district/system. In such cases, the district/system is responsible for meeting the Standards, and an evaluation of its performance is reflected in the accredited status of the institution(s).
Standard IV: Leadership and Governance
The institution recognizes and uses the contributions of leadership throughout the organization for promoting student success, sustaining academic quality, integrity, fiscal stability, and continuous improvement of the institution. Governance roles are defined in the policy and are designed to facilitate decisions that support student learning programs and services and improve institutional effectiveness while acknowledging the designated responsibilities of the governing board and the chief executive officer. Through established governance structures, processes, and practices, the governance board, administrators, faculty, staff, and students work together for the good of the institution. In multi-college districts or systems, the roles within the district/system are clearly delineated. The multi-college district or system has policies for allocation of resources to adequately support and sustain the colleges.