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PRESS RELEASE: FACCC Sponsored AB 404 (Chiu) Introduced to Facilitate Improved State-Federal Communication on Postsecondary Accreditation

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) is pleased to announce the introduction of its sponsored measure, Assembly Bill 404, by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco).

AB 404 will require the California Community College system to solicit feedback from community college stakeholders on the performance of the regional agency that accredits California Community Colleges. The information will be transmitted to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), the entity responsible for advising the U.S. Secretary of Education on postsecondary accreditation. Under the proposal, college officials could provide their input to the Chancellor’s office anonymously, without fear of retaliation.

AB 404 compliments a recommendation in last year’s California State Auditor’s report on accreditation (2013-123),To ensure that community colleges and the public are fully informed regarding the accreditation process, the Chancellor’s office should assist community colleges in communicating their concerns to the commission regarding its transparency and in developing proposals for improving the commission’s transparency policies and practices.”

FACCC President Dean Murakami noted that “Accreditation is a vital tool to measure, assess, and enhance academic programs and the institutional health of our colleges. If done correctly, accreditation should be a collaborative process resulting in institutional improvement. AB 404 will provide our colleges, faculty, students and classified staff a voice that allows for direct and open comment on the performance of an accrediting agency without fear of retribution.” Murakami continued, “To ensure the public is fully informed on the accreditation process, the Chancellor’s office should assist community colleges in communicating their concerns to the federal government. This will translate in improved transparency of accreditation policies and practices.”

FACCC Executive Director Jonathan Lightman remarked “California’s community colleges comprise the largest system of higher education in the country. AB 404 is a common sense measure that will allow our system to have a direct line of communication with the federal government on the integrity of our accrediting process.”