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President's Message on Accreditation

Interim President Jose F. VargasPresident Dr. Pamela Ralston

Santiago Canyon College is one of the newer community colleges in California. At our 21-year mark of independent accreditation, the college has grown rapidly while maintaining its well-deserved reputation for excellence. Santiago Canyon College provides students with a rigorous, quality education in a supportive environment that facilitates learning and the achievement of academic and/or training goals for all students. 

Accreditation is an important process of continuous improvement that involves undergoing a thorough evaluation that focuses on quality standards that help to strengthen colleges. The Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community Colleges (ACCJC) oversees colleges' compliance with Eligibility Requirements, Accreditation Standards, Commission Policies, and Federal Requirements. In addition to setting the benchmarks for institutional quality, meeting these requirements makes the college eligible to receive Title IV Federal Financial Aid. This important work helps Santiago Canyon College not only to maintain our quality instruction, programs, and services, but to identify possible areas for improvement.

Currently, Santiago Canyon College's accreditation was reaffirmed following submission of the self-evaluation report and a site visit in October, 2014. The college maintains its accreditation status, and we are currently engaged in the next evaluation process for reaffirmation.

The 2021 Santiago Canyon College Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER) provides a written analysis of the college's strengths and possible shortcomings in educational quality and institutional effectiveness based on the institution's continuous evaluation and quality improvement. Further, the ISER documents our current and sustained compliance with Commission Standards. The Report includes improvement planning, including timelines and outcomes for that work, and a Quality Focused Essay, addressing planning and implementation of activities in support of the College's strong interest and intent to provide its students with the most welcoming learning environment possible. Whether through undergoing a cultural curriculum audit, improving the quality of and accompanying support for distance education, or building a trauma-informed institution, student wellbeing and success are the driving force behind each of these planned activities.

The 2021 Santiago Canyon College Institutional Self-Evaluation Report is submitted to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in August 2021. The ISER is reviewed by an accreditation team built of colleagues with support from ACCJC. Our first team review is October 7, 2021, and culminates with a focused site visit from the same accreditation team on March 7 -10, 2022.

Members of the general public or college community are welcome to provide third-party comments to assists the Commission as it considers applications for candidacy, accreditation, or reaffirmation of accreditation.  In order to ensure evaluation of applicable third-party comments by the peer review team, third-party comments should be received by the Commission staff no later than five weeks before the peer review team's focused site visit. Third-party comments may be submitted by completing the Commission's online third-party comment form available via the ACCJC's website:  https://accjc.org/forms/third-party-comments