Accreditor releases Pima from notice

By MELINA CASILLAS

After five years of being on probation and notice, the Higher Learning Commission has recognized Pima Community College’s improvement and has removed the college from “notice.”

PCC began facing scrutiny after the summer of 2012 when allegations of sexual misconduct against ex-Chancellor Ray Flores became public.

The college was first placed on probation in January of 2013 after an HLC visit found Pima was not in compliance with standards of function in financial, academic and personnel integrity and other issues according to the HLC website.

More frequent visits from the HLC to inspect Pima followed, with a peer review team visiting Pima campuses in September 2016.

After that visits, the HLC Executive Board met on Feb. 23 and notified PCC March 9 of its decision to lift the “notice” sanction.

“The Board determined that the removal of the sanction was warranted based on evidence provided by the College, including the Notice Report,” wrote HLC President Gellman-Danley.

Removal from sanctions means PCC is fully accredited and is meeting the standards of the HLC, including in “student outcome assessment,” an issue that had kept the college back for quite some time.

Chancellor Lee Lambert put out an email to all PCC staff and students. “Removal from “notice” is a crystal-clear indication that we are operating and will continue to operate at a high level,” he said.

Vice Chancellor of Accreditation Bruce Moses made sure to thank the HLC for recognizing the college’s hard work. “I am very appreciative of…their recognition of the efforts undertaken by everyone at PCC to satisfactorily resolve all concerns identified in March 2015,” Moses said.

Pima Community College will now prepare for the next HLC visit in 2018 or 2019. That visit will be part of a 10-year accreditation cycle.

To read the HLC’s full report on Pima’s removal of notice, visit hlcommission.org.

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