Accreditation is seen as an essential component in the college’s planning and evaluation cycles. The ACCJC Standards are built into the evaluation of the planning agenda. In this manner, the PIE process produces much of the data needed in the accreditation report through its regular cycle. The college adheres to Accreditation Standard IV.B.4 that states, “The CEO has the primary leadership role for accreditation, ensuring that the institution meets or exceeds Eligibility Requirements, Accreditation Standards, and Commission policies at all times. Faculty, staff and administrative leaders of the institution also have responsibility for assuring compliance with accreditation requirements.” The college president relies primarily on recommendations from the Academic Senate on faculty roles in the accreditation process.
To ensure broad based participation, ELAC has established two committees to ensure ongoing integrity with the accrediting commission: The Accreditation Steering Committee and an Accreditation Committee of the Whole. These committees allow for a broad group of constituents to evaluate the college’s efforts from various angles. This differing scope enables the college to review its progress from multiple vantage points.
The Accreditation Steering Committee, co-chaired by the Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) and the Faculty Chair for Accreditation, is the primary vehicle for promoting a college culture that is dedicated to program improvement and is focused on student learning. The Accreditation Steering Committee verifies the system by which ELAC continually evaluates and improves its operation to achieve and improve institutional effectiveness to ensure student-centered learning and achievement in accordance with the Accrediting Commission’s standards of good practice. The standards are based on the implementation of an effective mission statement that is central to institutional planning and decision making; the appropriateness, sufficiency, and utilization of resources; the usefulness, integrity, and effectiveness of its processes; and the extent to which it is achieving its intended outcomes.
The Accreditation Steering Committee meets at least quarterly (January, April, July, and October) to create Commission-required reports or to respond to Commission recommendations. This committee broadens the group of those involved in accreditation activities and ensures that campus constituents are knowledgeable about the accreditation process and associated standards.
The Accreditation Committee of the Whole is open to all faculty, staff and administration and assists the Accreditation Steering Committee with its goals.