Warning lifted, college accreditation reaffirmed

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After an 18-month battle with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Southwestern College has had its accreditation confirmed. ACCJC had placed the college on warning in early 2016 for 15 deficiencies.

SWC President Dr. Kindred Murillo said she was pleased by the decision and the college is stronger for having gone through the process.

“Faculty have come together to reconstruct and demonstrate that Southwestern College’s main commitment has always been to serve our students,” she said. “With the reaffirmation we will be able to continue this commitment and continuous improvement.”

ACCJC evaluated the college in October 2015 as part of the regular five-year evaluation cycle. SWC was hit with 15 sanctions, including problems with the college mission statement, student learning outcomes and distance education training.

Murillo said it was a team effort that put together a 76-page accreditation follow-up report that demonstrated improvement on all 15 sanctions.

“It was a lot of people, I’m talking 150,” she said. “Angie Stewart and Linda Gilstrap really coordinated it well. There were a lot of pieces to try and pull together, and it was really a team effort.”

Recently-retired Professor of Spanish Angelina Stuart said the report was handed to ACCJC in March and from then to June accreditation committee members had been “holding their breath.”

“We had to provide proof that we had evaluated and made positive changes to the 15 (issues),” Stuart said. “ We had rallied a team of 15 workgroups that have been working to make sure that these things got done and we felt such relief when the report came out in June.”

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