Community College Articles

Article Accreditation ACCJC

ACCJC settles out of court after four-year battle

On August 7, 2017, CFT and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which oversees accreditation of community colleges in California, settled a four-year lawsuit out of court.

Following on the heels of the ACCJC reaccrediting City College of San Francisco (CCSF) for seven years last January, this brings to a close — with a happy ending — the sorry saga of the ACCJC’s illegal attempt to close CCSF, and the fight led by the CFT and AFT Local 2121 to prevent that from happening.

California Teacher Accreditation ACCJC

Faculty grill replacement leader of the ACCJC
Interim commission president listens, pledges some new ways forward

At the end of a CFT Convention Friday night Community College Council meeting that went over the 10 o’clock ending time, Richard Winn said he wanted to continue being a “thinking partner” with the CFT and thanked everyone for their honesty.

He might have preferred a little less honesty. Winn is the interim president of the Accreditation Commission of Community and Junior Colleges, and the assembled members of CFT had plenty to say about the commission’s unfairness, lack of transparency, and meddling in collective bargaining. The CFT has a federal lawsuit against ACCJC and continues to fight for a new accreditor. 

California Teacher Accreditation ACCJC

Fair accreditation: The long arc of our successful campaign
How a rogue agency damaged colleges in Compton and San Francisco

The Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges, a private 19-member panel that oversees community colleges in California and Hawaii, has been much in the news over its threat to pull City College of San Francisco’s accreditation — a battle the union and college recently won with the January 13 news that its accreditation is fully restored for the next seven years.

California Teacher Accreditation ACCJC

Congresswoman Speier leads forum on accreditation
Broad support for San Francisco City College in advance of January decision

Bay Area Congresswoman Jackie Speier convened a panel discussion at City College of San Francisco on November 28, her third on the topic since the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges revoked the accreditation of City College in 2013.

Speier pointed out that the people of San Francisco love their college, having just voted in November for a second parcel tax to support it, and passing Proposition W to make tuition free. She is “hopeful and optimistic” about the college’s future and defeating the ACCJC.

California Teacher Part-time faculty Reemployment Rights SB 1379

New law brings reemployment rights for part-time faculty
Successful CFT-sponsored legislation calls for districts to negotiate

Community college districts will soon be compelled to negotiate what CFT-sponsored legislation calls “reemployment preference for part-time, temporary faculty.” The landmark provisions require districts to negotiate with the union in order to receive significant funding available from the state Student Success and Support Program. 

Article Accreditation ACCJC

Speier praises CCSF, condemns ACCJC
Congresswoman calls for forum on accreditation issue

One thing for certain about Congresswoman Jackie Speier: she is consistent. On November 28 at a City College of San Francisco (CCSF) forum that she organized and hosted, the Bay Area congresswoman sang the praises of the largest community college in California. She also made clear that no matter what the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) decides in its January meeting about CCSF, she will do everything in her power to keep the school open and serving its tens of thousands of students. 

Article Local Action

Pasadena College staff contribute to Top Ten ranking

Instructional support staff members of AFT Local 6525 were proud to learn that The Aspen Institute had named their school, Pasadena City College, one of the 10 best community colleges in the country. The institute bases its assessments on a rigorous analysis of student performance and achievement data.

Article Part-time faculty Local Action

Freeway Flyers: Local action & quick news

New study explores sociology adjunct working conditions

As the only part-time faculty member of an American Sociological Association taskforce assembled to investigate the teaching of sociology within community colleges, Peralta Federation of Teachers member and Laney College instructor Cynthia Mahabir co-authored a scholarly study of data collected from part-time sociology instructors in the nation’s community colleges. 

Article Part-time faculty

Falling enrollment, cancelled classes, and part-time faculty

FIRST PERSON | Renee Fraser

Many of us have been teaching in community college for 20 years or more, and we remember the days when the mission was education, not production. Classes might have 25 or 30 students, so we could have seminar-style discussions and individual project presentations, and even memorize the names of our students. We might assign lengthy papers and essays, and we had time to read each one, make comments, and allow students to rewrite them.

Article Part-time faculty Campus Equity Week

Campus Equity Week can build adjunct-student solidarity
October 24-28 is Campus Equity Week

Most part-time instructors are aware of how damaging adjunct working conditions can be to our lives economically, physically, emotionally, and psychologically. You may also be aware of how these working conditions can hurt students, the institutions, and tenure-track, full-time employees as well. 

But how aware are students?

Article Part-time faculty Reemployment Rights

Historic victory: New law brings reemployment rights for part-time faculty
Governor signs CFT-sponsored bills calling for districts to negotiate with unions

Community college districts will be compelled to negotiate what CFT-sponsored legislation calls “reemployment preference for part-time, temporary faculty.” The landmark provisions require districts to negotiate with the union in order to receive significant funding available from the state Student Success and Support Program.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

Compton College accreditation: A decade later

By Joshua Pechthalt, CFT President

One of the principles of our democracy is the right to elect our representatives. In California, one of the most basic decisions we make is about our children’s education through the election of local school boards that govern both K-12 and community college districts. This may not receive the same fanfare as statewide or national elections, but in more than 1,000 K-12 and 70 community college districts, community residents make key educational decisions that matter to them.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

CFT files amended lawsuit against accrediting commission
Broader in scope than the San Francisco City Attorney's

San Francisco, May 19, 2016—Today the CFT filed an amended complaint with Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC).

The complaint, delayed for more than two years by ACCJC legal maneuvers, alleges a broad array of violations of federal laws and regulations, as well as California common law fair procedure, by the Commission. The plaintiffs, in addition to CFT, include several local community college faculty unions, a number of individual faculty members and a student.

Read the CFT complaint here.

California Teacher Labor Solidarity Rank & Files Labor art

Honoring “letter carrier who sings” turned teacher
Old school troubadour and modern Joe Hill among top labor artists and activists

Jimmy Kelly comes from a union family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where his grandfather, father and two brothers were all union members. “I grew up in a different era, in a town that traced the origin of its labor movement to the great strikes in the steel mills,” he recalls. “We learned labor terms in fourth grade.”

California Teacher Strike Accreditation ACCJC

San Francisco City College faculty calls one-day strike
April 27 action protests college administration stonewalling

Rain, wind, and a four-hour round trip from her home could not keep English teacher Jessica Nelson away from City College of San Francisco to join a one-day strike on April 27, the first strike in the school’s history.

“I wanted to support my fellow faculty,” she said. “There’s a lack of respect for faculty here. That’s what led to this strike and all the time, energy and effort the union has put into it.”

Article Accreditation ACCJC

Community college presidents move to reform, then leave ACCJC
CFT applauds growing momentum for accreditor’s ouster

Statement from CFT President Joshua Pechthalt

March 17, 2016—“Today California moved another step closer to reforming the broken accreditation system for California’s community colleges. With a more than 90 percent vote earlier this week to reform the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), while preparing at the same time to move to another accreditor, community college presidents struck a decisive blow to ACCJC’s fading hopes of maintaining the unacceptable status quo.