On July 12th I had the opportunity to speak on a panel of stakeholders and experts regarding the news that CCSF is scheduled to loose it’s accreditation in one year. The shocking decision was announced at the beginning of July. Many people had hoped that City had done enough to warrant an extension or even a judgement that the school could be placed on probation.
In fact it was the exact opposite. The ACCJC’s response to the school’s closure report expressed that of the 14 points the school had only addressed less than five. Many are left in disbelief and wonder if anything can be done at this point to save the school from it’s possible demise. With only a year left the school’s registration is down. I personally have talked to many students who don’t know what they are going to do. They’ll have to travel to places like Laney College in Oakland or even 45 minutes away to Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill.
Veterans and English as a Second Language students would be the hardest hit by the closure of the school. One quarter of CCSF’s students are English as a Second Language students and currently has 1,100 veterans enrolled. Many veterans attend City College to receive assistance to help them ease back into civilian life from their time overseas or in the service. With the possibility of City College’s closure these veterans would not have a resource in San Francisco to attend school.
With assistance from Da Maddhouze San Francisco’s Veteran’s Community Media Center held a forum, moderated by Michael Stoll the Executive Director of The SF Public Press, on what can be done to help City College stay open and how important the school is to our current and former soldiers. My video, What if City College Closed?, was shown as an icebreaker to begin the conversation.
The panel consisted of:
- Myself, for contributions to the accreditation crisis through IDTV and KCSF.
- Aundray Rogers, a veteran and President of the CCSF Veterans Alliance.
- Angela Hart, an Army Reserve from 1999-2008, and was deployed from 2003 through 2004 in Northern Iraq. She was in the 341st Military Police Company out of San Jose. She is a print and multimedia journalist covering the environment, health care, and politics. She is a CCSF alumnus.
- Alex Emslie was the Editor-in-Chief at the CCSF newspaper “The Guardsman” for more than a year. He has published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, San Francisco Bay Guardian, New America Media, and more. He has written extensively about the CCSF issues.
- Alisa Messer, the faculty union president of City College’s local AFT 2121, the American Federation of Teachers. Local 2121 is the City College Faculty Union who has been working to respond to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) requirements which began the possibility of closure and suspension of accreditation. Alisa is an English teacher at the college.
For you, in it’s entirety, is the forum below that was broadcast live online. Please enjoy and if you have any comment I would love to hear your feedback.