CCSF supporters rally

In July, the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges announced that the City College of San Francisco would lose its accreditation by next summer. But the commission itself has also drawn fire. City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed two challenges to block the commission from continuing its work, and the U.S. Department of Education has questioned the commission’s policies. Robert Agrella, the special trustee given sweeping power to make changes for CCSF, joins us to discuss CCSF’s future. Agrella recently halted plans for a $95 million concert hall at the college.

Robert Agrella, special trustee at City College of San Francisco

  • Niketana

    Let’s hope the college continues to make changes in governance, management, and fiscal control to reverse the revocation of accreditation slated for July. Finding problems with the ACCJC is fine but doesn’t solve the college’s own problems or make needed adaptations to new trends such as moving students through the system more swiftly and curtailing the “lingering” student who, for various reasons, repeats required classes. That is not to say that a community college shouldn’t serve the needs of its constituents; it should, and they can vary greatly, depending on the community. But a competent student should be able to pass a required course on the second try, shouldn’t they?

    • CCSF-Observer

      Competent students get called away to military duty mid-semester…. they also might be arrested, experience family tragedy and health crises, etc. So it is entirely possible that a student might need more than one pass at a class. In addition, many students return to upgrade skills and might take just one or two classes. From the state’s point of view (in the context of the recently passed student “success” act) these are “lingering students” and/or “failures/non-completers”. Something is terribly wrong if community members can not easily return to upgrade skills after being layed off or deployed by the military to prepare for next steps in their working life.

      • Niketana


        Yes, in all of the examples you give–students returning from military duty, due to a job layoff or for additional job training, due to family tragedy or other unforeseen event, or to upgrade skills–a CC should provide these options. I agree. And I realize that state, if not federal, government is trying to narrow the student profile to a profitable type. I would hope that CCSF and other colleges, through their counseling departments or dean’s offices, could screen out those circumstances from those students who aren’t ready to be college students.

        Also, to be fair, I didn’t say “one pass” at a course. I’m thinking of students who fail twice in a row because they can’t pass or aren’t ready for that level of study. The unprepared student is an entirely different situation from the returning veteran or the single-mother who now has the time and/or money to go to college. The “unprepared” or unable end up taking space from (other young) students who ARE ready. If nothing else, put them on probation before they can re-enroll into a core English or Math class.

  • Guest

    All at the college are fully committed to making appropriate changes in governance, management, and fiscal control to meet or exceed the accreditation standards. At the same time, I heard the “Performance Arts Complex” referred to as a “concert hall”. This is a significant misrepresentation of this project! The Performance Arts Center is designed as a complex containing several large spaces including one auditorium meant to serve the entire college and community groups. * Most important is that there are also many additional classrooms and cutting edge technology features which are intended to afford apprenticeship opportunities for CCSF students in partnership with local unions in a wide variety of disciplines.* The instructional aspects of the PAC are to replace moldy, decrepit and currently disintegrating classrooms and temporary disintegrating/moldy structures on Ocean Campus. The current construction cost, as of the latest official estimate in June 2013, is $80.072,000. Total available in the bond budget set aside for this project is $88,000,000.

  • Guest

    Would you please interview someone other othan Robert Agrella or Pamela Fisher? It would be great to have more than one perspective presented.

  • guest

    “Wrong is in the eye of the beholder”

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