They’re Here… Making the Most of the Visit from the Team

Report
Michael Claire
President, College of San Mateo
Dr. Richard Mahon
Associate Professor, Riverside Community College
Dr. Kathleen Rose
Executive Vice President, Gavilan Community College
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From the visiting team’s chair perspective
(Mike)
From the faculty perspective (Richard)
From the administrator’s perspective
(Kathleen)
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Team selection & training
◦ Professional peers, volunteers, offer independent
insights, judgment and evaluation
◦ Evaluates the institution using accreditation
standards
◦ Confirms and finds evidence for the assertions in
the self study report against the standards
◦ Calls attention to problems unrecognized by the
college itself
◦ Assures the Commission that the college has been
responsive to recommendations of previous visiting
teams
◦ Assures the Commission that the college has
developed sound evaluation and planning
procedures to foster improvement of student
learning outcomes
◦ Encourages the college’s commitment to its
continuing pursuit of excellence
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Know the ACCJC standards, eligibility
requirements, and pertinent policies
Recognize the standards as the necessary
conditions for high quality education
Recognize the standards as statements of
best practice in higher education
Understand that colleges are accredited using
the ACCJC standards rather than the
regulations or requirements of other groups
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Appreciate that peer review lies at the heart
of the accreditation process
Remember that team members represent the
Commission
Maintain objectivity and flexibility
Rely on evidence in making judgments about
the college
Maintain confidentiality
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Develop college culture around accreditation
◦ Kick off event to celebrate completion of self study
◦ Don’t wait for the visit to address deficiencies
◦ Meet with campus groups to discuss possible
meetings
◦ Be prepared to showcase college achievements as
well as challenges to highlight as appropriate
◦ Self Study steering committee is usually the first to
meet with the team, so be prepared to tell your
“story”
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The Team Room
◦ Comfortable and well organized (snacks are good
too)
◦ Evidence of preparation, paper, web and other
electronic resources
◦ Prepare any “how to” guides for the team
◦ Provide maps of the campus
◦ Be sure the team room is conveniently located
◦ What really happens in the team room?
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Provide a number of diverse opportunities for
engagement on campus
Structure discussions around the themes of
dialogue, SLOs, institutional commitments,
evaluation, planning, improvement,
organization and institutional integrity
Meetings with shared governance committees
Time to walk around, sit in on classes, visit
staff in offices
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College members with “an agenda”; fellow
team members with “an agenda”: look for
evidence and follow the standards
Tampering with the self-study (i.e., authors of the self
study report that their work has been changed in the version sent to the
team)
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Significant campus issues not reflected in the
self study
Campus constituency who report being
excluded from the self study process
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Don’t wait for the team report to address
known weaknesses
Maintain focus on institutional quality, not
compliance
Develop a comprehensive and realistic plan
for addressing recommendations
Address recommendations in the spirit of
the standards; don’t throw out what’s good
to meet Commission demands

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