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Valley Public Radio Staff
Thu February 14, 2013
Visalia's COS Could Lose Accreditation, Closure Possible
Visalia’s College of the Sequoias is facing the potential loss of its accreditation. The news comes after a commission from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges found that COS was in “substantial non-compliance” with the organization’s standards.
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges issued what is called a “show cause” order, meaning the school must demonstrate why its certification should not be withdrawn.
The committee has given the junior college until mid-October to address issues in areas including institutional planning, student learning and achievement.
The accreditation panel also said the campus has failed to make progress on implementing recommendations from the last such process in 2006. The findings were detailed in a letter delivered to the college on Wednesday.
COS President Stan Carrizosa told a campus group today that the issue is significant. “The show cause order is the most extreme response we could get,” said Carrizosa.
He said a campus task force will work on implementing recommendations from the accreditation group. He also issued a call for campus unity.
“Nobody wins if we don’t make it out of this. We’re not going to make this an opportunity to fight to place blame. And I’m going to be really disappointed with anyone else, or any faction that does. But that’s on you. We’re going to work to save the college,” said Carrizosa.
The college is also required to file what is called a “closure report.”
If the school loses its accreditation, it could face a possible shut down in mid 2014.
Audio credit: http://www.youtube.com/user/costvstudio