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College of Alameda placed on warning

Submitted by on 1, July 17, 2009 – 5:50 am8 Comments

coaThe agency charged with accreditation for California’s community colleges has placed the College of Alameda on warning that its accreditation could be rescinded.

The school has two years to fix the problems or face losing its accreditation.

The Accrediting Commission for Junior and Community College said the college needs to detail what it expects students to learn more consistently across disciplines, and also that it needs to clear a backlog of to-be-completed faculty evaluations. The school also needs to stand up a computer system to handle student, financial aid, human resources, and finance information.

The commission also said the school’s budgeting process is unclear to school staff and that financial software the school uses has amplified the problems. They also said the school hasn’t kept adequate records on capital assets.

“The district has not adequately maintained capital asset records sufficient to support the amounts reported for capital assets. The district needs to further strengthen its record keeping processes with sufficient paper trails to substantiate the claims,” the commission’s review team wrote.

They said their review, which goes back to 2006, “suggest(s) a lack of commitment to timely resolve the internal control and compliance issues raised by the independent auditors.”

A college spokeswoman said the school is already working to fix the problems identified in the report.

“The accreditation self study and evaluation team visit were a great opportunity to assess and improve our programs and services to students. We were already aware of most of the issues identified, but it was very helpful to have the team members’ feedback and suggestions,” college spokeswoman Shirleen Schemerhorn said.

The commission praised the school for demonstrating a high level of educational and student services and a warm and caring campus environment.

The 39-year-old college and three others included in the Peralta Community College District were placed on warning status in 2005. The district was taken off warning in 2006. The accreditation team also praised the school for progress it has made in addressing their past concerns.


  • Scott says:

    I think it is time for something else to take the college's space. It has become an eye sore to the up and coming west side of the island. This article proves that the college has more problems than we will ever really know. Leave the 2 sports fields but tear the school done and make it a park the city can be proud of. The campus uses about a tenth of the land it takes up. Getting rid of the college would be a step in the right direction to getting Alameda to be the best community in the bay area.

  • Scott, for lack of a better word: You are insane!

    The College of Alameda has provided educational opportunities to thousands of families that would otherwise not have had the opportunity. Community colleges are a major gateway to the UCs, CSUs private colleges and workforce development.

    The college has been under renovation since 2006 when voters approved Measure A (over 3/4s) including a recent sidewalk renovation, and the main admissions building is being rebuilt. Not to mention the upcoming tennis court repairs and the not to recent track repairs.

    The suggestions from the ACCJC for consistent Student Learning Outcomes and Faculty Evaluations will make the college run much more effectively and serve students more.

    Not to mention with veteran administrator Dr. George Herring at the helm, COA will have some strong consistent leadership over the next two years to reach those goals.

    I'm guessing you've never taken a class there. The college is currently a public space, so you can enjoy it's lovely open space if you choose. But tearing it down for a park is the most "stupidistidest" things I've heard this week.

    Step your game up on community colleges:




    Or go to a COA graduation then think about what it would mean to those families to have that institution closed.

  • Scott says:

    i have taken classes at a community college myself. There are several alternitives to the College of Alameda, Laney, DVC, city college of san francisco. I think if it was less of an eye sore people would appreciate it more.

  • Mary says:

    Scott – knowledge is more than looks alone – many of our High school students see Alameda college as the first stepping stone. You are quick to shoot down our students dreams.

    Perhaps to turn a negative into a positive you could assist the college by looking for grants to revamp the college's facade – maybe looking at green architecture – there are a couple of buildings in SF now – high use of green tinted glass that would reflect the surrounding environment – thus creating the illusion of open space…… ; )

  • Jayne Smythe says:

    Community Colleges are not valuable for their looks! Community Colleges make a difference in the lives of students looking to continue their learning and to get on a career track. I know of folks who got M.A.s and Ph.D.s who started at community college because it was affordable or near home–a good way for a young person to get started. Don't be dissing College of Alameda for it's looks! Heaven only knows, there's other more butt-ugly building complexes in the Bay Area than that one!

  • Scott says:

    No one is saying that community colleges are not necesary for people trying to further their education and can not afford any other options. My point is that the first thing you see out of the Webster tunnel does not need to be the city college of alameda. There is a ton of room for the college without it being such an eye sour and the very first thing you see as you come out of the tunnel. Alameda is such a great place to live, I am just trying to enhance its appearance and make Alameda the best place to live in the bay area. For too long nothing has been done to the west sid of the island because of the navy base, but there is an engery and a spirit on the west side that is spreading like a wild fire. The potenial for great schools, great jobs, great homes, great restaurants, and great retail shops is scary.

  • David M says:

    The nice thing about COA is the parking lots are so massive that I was able to take my Motorcycle Safety Foundation course there and not once did I feel I was going to run out of room even after getting my bike up to 50 MPH, in the parking lot. :)

    Perhaps all they need to do is plant more trees to cover up the ugly slab sided concrete buildings?

  • BC says:

    I actually really like the CofA campus. It's a good example of 60s academic architecture (though this is only my amateur opinions) and the buildings and grounds create an inviting atmosphere. The old trucks in the truck school could be better hidden, though, and it would be great if the new track were open for public use. But I think the campus is a plus for the city's appearance. (My spouse disagrees with me on this issue and I'm sure many others do too.) And, needless to say, community colleges are now more than ever a vital part of our educational system.

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