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Welcome to Inside ARC Accreditation 2015

"Accreditation is a voluntary system of self regulation developed to evaluate overall educational quality and institutional effectiveness . . . The ACCJC accreditation process provides assurance to the public that the accredited member colleges meet the Standards; the education earned at the institutions is of value to the student who earned it; and employers, trade or profession-related licensing agencies, and other colleges and universities can accept a student's credential as legitimate."

What is the ACCJC?  

"The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC) accredits community colleges and other associate degree granting institutions in the Western region of the U.S.  The ACCJC is one of seven regional accrediting commissions. The ACCJC is authorized to operate by the U.S. Department of Education through the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008" (from the ACCJC Website). 

Explore ACCJC Documents

Frequently Asked Questions

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is the process for evaluation and assuring the quality of education used by the American higher education community. It is a quality assurance process through which institutions collectively set standards for good practices, conduct peer-based evaluations of institutions, and make the results of accreditation review of institutions known to the public. The accreditation process provides assurance to the public that accredited member colleges meet the Accreditation Standards, the education earned at the institutions is of value to the students who earned it; and employers, trade or profession-related licensing agencies, and other colleges and universities can accept a student's credentials as legitimate. Accreditation also provides students, the public, and the educational community with assurances of the college's effectiveness and affirms the professionalism and integrity of the faculty, staff, administration and trustees of the college.

Who is responsible for American River College's accreditation?

The Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior College (ACCJC) is part of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of six regional accrediting organizations in the United States.  The ACCJC accredits private and public colleges that provide students with two year education programs and associate degrees. The Commission's scope includes colleges in California, Hawaii, and American territories and protectorates in the Pacific Ocean. 

The United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) both "recognize" accrediting organizations. A college must be accredited in order to participate in federal student financial aid programs.

How does the accreditation process work?

There are five key features of accreditation:

  1. Self evaluation: Colleges and program prepare a written summary of performance based on accreditation organization's standards.
  2. Peer Review: Accreditation review is conducted primarily by faculty, administrators and members of the public.
  3. Site visit: Accrediting organization normally sends a visiting team to review and institution or program.
  4. Action (judgment) of accrediting organization: Accrediting organization has commission that makes decision about eh accredited status of institution and programs.
  5. Monitoring and oversight: Institutions and programs are reviewed over time in cycles this includes midterm reports at the three year point and comprehensive self-evaluations every six years.

ACCJC Standards

Standard I: Institutional Mission and Effectiveness

Chair: Jan DeLapp
Resource Manager: Steven Boyd

"The institution demonstrates strong commitment to a mission that emphasizes achievement of student learning and to communicating the mission internally and externally. The institution uses analyses of quantitative and qualitative data and analysis in an ongoing and systematic cycle of evaluation, integrated planning, implementation, and re-evaluation to verify and improve the effectiveness by which the mission is accomplished."

Standard II: Student Learning Programs and Services

II.A. Instructional Programs

Chair: Thuan Bui

Resource Manager: Lisa Lawrenson

The institution offers high-quality instructional programs in recognized and emerging fields of study that culminate in identified student outcomes leading to degrees, certificates, employment, or transfer to other higher education institutions or programs consistent with its mission. Instructional programs are systematically assessed in order to assure currency, improve teaching and learning strategies, and achieve stated student learning outcomes. The provisions of this standard are broadly applicable to all instructional activities offered in the name of the institution.

II.B. Student Support Services

Chair: Rick Ramirez

Resource Manager: Robin Neal

The institution recruits and admits diverse students who are able to benefit from its programs, consistent with its mission. Student support services address the identified needs of students and enhance a supportive learning environment. The entire student pathway through the institutional experience is characterized by a concern for student access, progress, learning, and success. The institution systematically assesses student support services using student learning outcomes, faculty and staff input, and other appropriate measures in order to improve the effectiveness of these services.

II.C. Library and Support Learning Services

Chair: Linda Zarzana

Resource Manager: Tammy Montgomery

Library and other learning support services for students are sufficient to support the institution's instructional programs and intellectual, aesthetic, and cultural activities in whatever format and wherever they are offered. Such services include library services and collections, tutoring, learning centers, computer laboratories, and learning technology development and training. The institution provides access and training to students so that library and other learning support services may be used effectively and efficiently. The institution systematically assesses these services using student learning outcomes, faculty input, and other appropriate measures in order to improve the effectiveness of the services.

Standard III: Resources

III.A. Human Resources

Chair: Connie Ayala

Resource Manager: Jerome Countee

The institution employs qualified personnel to support student learning programs and services wherever offered and by whatever means delivered, and to improve institutional effectiveness. Personnel are treated equitably, are evaluated regularly and systematically, and are provided opportunities for professional development. Consistent with its mission, the institution demonstrates its commitment to the significant educational role played by persons of diverse backgrounds by making positive efforts to encourage such diversity. Human resource planning is integrated with institutional planning.

III.B. Physical Resources

Chair: Dyne Eifertsen

Resource Manager: Dan McKechie

Physical resources, which include facilities, equipment, land, and other assets, support student learning programs and services and improve institutional effectiveness. Physical resource planning is integrated with institutional planning.

III.C. Technology Resources

Chair: Randy Nordell

Resource Manager: Jeff Bucher

Technology resources are used to support student learning programs and services and to improve institutional effectiveness. Technology planning is integrated with institutional planning.

III.D. Financial Resources

Chair: Greg McCormac

Resource Manager: Ray Di Giullio

Financial resources are sufficient to support student learning programs and services and to improve institutional effectiveness. The distribution of resources supports the development, maintenance, and enhancement of programs and services. The institution plans and manages its financial affairs with integrity and in a manner that ensures financial stability. The level of financial resources provides a reasonable expectation of both short-term and long-term financial solvency. Financial resources planning is integrated with institutional planning.

Standard IV: Governance and Leadership

Chair: Tressa Tabares

Resource Manager: Kate Jaques

The institution recognizes and utilizes the contributions of leadership throughout the organization for continuous improvement of the institution. Governance roles are designed to facilitate decisions that support student learning programs and services and improve institutional effectiveness, while acknowledging the designated responsibilities of the governing board and the chief administrator.

Read more about the ACCJC Standards in the  ACCJC Guide to Evaluating Institutions

2015 Self Evaluation Process & Timeline

2015 Self Evaluation Process & Timeline

Date Task
Fall 2013
September Appoint Faculty Co-Chair
October 25 Attend ACCJC Self-Evaluation Workshop (Delta College)
December-January Appoint Accreditation Standards Team Chairs
Spring 2014  
January 17 Convocation Accreditation Quiz Show
February 7-8 Attend ASCCC Accreditation Institute (La Jolla)
February 20 Attend ACCJC ALO training workshop (Rio Hondo College)
February 28 ARC Accreditation training for Standards Chairs and Resource Managers
March/April Surveys: District Employee Survey and CCCSE
March 20 Accreditation Drop-In Session (12:30-4:00pm)
April 24 Accreditation Drop-In Session (12:30-4:00pm)
May 8 Accreditation Drop-In Session (12:30-4:00pm)
May/June Accreditation Self-Evaluation Matrix due
Fall 2014  
August 21 Convocation Accreditation Presentation
August 27-28 Accreditation Standard Team training sessions 12:-15-1:15
Sept 12 Accreditation Drop-In Session (9:00-12:00)
October 2 Accreditation Drop-In Session (1:30-3:00)
October 24 Accreditation Drop-In Session (9:00-12:00)
November 6 Accreditation Drop-In Session (1:30-4:00)
November 14 Final drafts due from Standard III.B (Physical Resources) and Standard II.C (Library and Learning Support Services)
November 26 Final drafts due from Standard III.C (Technology Resources); Standard II.A (Instructional Programs); Standard III.D (Financial Resources)
December 12 Final drafts due from Standard III.A (Human Resources); Standard IV (Governance and Leadership); Standard II.B (Student Support Services), and Standard I (Institutional Mission and Effectiveness)
Spring 2015  
January 18 Convocation Accreditation Presentation
January-February Prepare revised Self-Evaluation Report draft
March Distribute Self-Evaluation Report for college review
May Submit final Self-Evaluation Report draft to District Board of Trustees
Summer 2015  
July Submit final Self-Evaluation Report to ACCJC
Fall 2015  
August Convocation Accreditation Presentation
October ACCJC External Evaluation Team visit

Accreditation Oversight Committee


Following accreditation visits and prior to the submitting the midterm report, the Accreditation Oversight Committee (AOC) will receive updates from the Accreditation Liaison Officer and the Faculty Accreditation Chair on the college's progress towards meeting the ACCJC's recommendations and the college's planning agenda for the current accreditation cycle. The AOC will meet once a semester during this period.

In the three years prior to the accreditation visit, the AOC will serve as the accreditation steering committee and oversee the progress of the college's self evaluation.  The Accreditation Oversight Committee will meet at least once monthly (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015).


  • Advise on the processes and timelines for the college Accreditation Self Evaluation activities
  • Respond to suggestions and inquiries regarding Accreditation-related issues
  • Facilitate communication on Accreditation to the college
  • Review and guide the preparation of the Accreditation Self Evaluation
  • Prepare the college for the external Accreditation team visit
  • Encourage institution-wide dialogue on Accreditation and continuous improvement


The AOC membership includes the membership of the Presidential Executive Staff, the Academic Senate and the Classified Senate Presidents, the SLO Chair, and the Curriculum Chair, along with the Accreditation Liaison Officer and the Accreditation Faculty Chair. The Presidential Executive Staff currently includes the President; Vice President of Instruction; Vice President of Student Services; Vice President of Administrative Services; and Dean of Planning, Research & Technology.

Accreditation Team

Accreditation Officers

  • Accreditation Liaison Officer:  Adam Karp, Dean of Planning, Research, and Technology (
  • Accreditation Faculty Chair: Amanda Corcoran, English (

Standard 1: Mission Team

Chair: Jan DeLapp (

Resource Manager: Steven Boyd (

John Aubert

Betty Low

Kristina Casper-Denman

Gordon Roadcap

Kathleen O'Brien

Sarah Mattson

Christina Overmiller

Sherry Kimbrow

Ann Bachtold-Silva

Line Kao

David Hylton (student)

Standard II.A Instructional Programs Team

Chair: Thuan Bui (

Resource Manager: Lisa Lawrenson (

Rina Roy

Jeff Stephenson

John Gamber

Damon de la Cruz

Oranit Limmaneeprasert

Yuj Shimizu

Keri Jumelet

Karen Milam

Olga Chornaya

Roger Key (Student)

Standard II.B Student Support Services Team

Chair: Rick Ramirez (

Resource Manager: Robin Neal (

Judy Mays (former chair, now interim Dean, Counseling)

Karen Warburton

Paul Andre

Michael Maddox

Krista Hess

Martin Gomez

Dana Brittingham-Garrido

Christina Wagner

Frankie Johnson

Rachel Davis (Student)

Standard II.B Student Support Services Team

Chair: Rick Ramirez (

Resource Manager: Robin Neal (

Judy Mays (former chair, now interim Dean, Counseling)

Karen Warburton

Paul Andre

Michael Maddox

Krista Hess

Martin Gomez

Dana Brittingham-Garrido

Christina Wagner

Frankie Johnson

Rachel Davis (Student)

Standard II.C. Library and Learning Support Services Team

Chair: Linda Zarzana (

Resource Manager: Tammy Montgomery (

Vicky Maryatt

Gabriel Meehan

Jan Miller

Alisa Shubb

Melissa Fish

Sarah Lehman

Debby Ondrika

Ed Niedzinski

Colette Castro

Beth Hartline

Katori Knight (student)

Standard III.A Human Resources Team

Chair: Connie Ayala (

Resource Manager: Jerome Countee (

Ben Baird

Carlos Reyes

Raye Maero

Lorraine Chow

Melissa Hynson

Dolores White

Standard III.B Physical Resources Team

Chair: Dyne Eifertsen (

Resource Manager: Dan McKechie (

Adam Karp

Koue Vang

Heidi Fuller

Brian Knirk

Becky Alejandre

Rick Topinka

Keith Atwater

Cecelia Baldwin

Lakie De Costa

NaKisha Allan (Student)

Standard III.C Technology Resources Team

Chair: Randy Nordell (

Resource Manager: Derrick Booth (

Larry Dumais

Jeff Bucher

Bob Irvine

Allan Gonzales

Susan Rankin

Petr Lensky

Corrine Rowland

Clarence Stokes

Tatyana Torgashev

Al Gonzalo Portas Hernandex (Student)

Standard III.D Financial Resources Team

Chair: Greg McCormac (

Resource Manager: Ray Di Giulio (

Stephanie Smith

Greg Warzecka

Chris Meadows

Kirsten Corbin

Lingling Zhang

Jeanne Reed

Ana Lukawski

Chiuping Chen

Amanda Hughen (student)

Standard IV.A and IV.B Leadership and Governance Team

Chair: Tressa Tabares (

Resource Manager: Kate Jaques (

Frank Kobayashi

Manuel Perez

Michaela Cooper

Kathleen Collihan

Gary Aguilar

Chris Padgett

Katrina Worley

Kevyn Montano

Michelle Matias

Randy Singh (Student)

Accreditation Visiting Team

Marvin Martinez

Mr. Marvin Martinez 
East Los Angeles College

Team Chair

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Marvin Martinez is President of East Los Angeles College (ELAC), one of the largest Hispanic serving institutions in the nation. Serving nearly 60,000 students annually, ELAC offers a breadth of programming allowing students to transfer to four-year universities, complete two-year liberal arts and career technical degrees and gain valuable career skills through the completion of short-term career technical certificates. Prior to arriving at ELAC, Mr. Martinez served as President of Los Angeles Harbor College; Vice Chancellor of Economic and Workforce Development for the Los Angeles Community College District; Vice President of Planning and Development at Santa Monica College and Dean of Business and Industry; and Director of Economic Development and Coordinator of the Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act (VATEA) at Cerritos College.
President Martinez is a native of El Salvador. He immigrated to Brooklyn, New York and then moved to Long Beach, California where he graduated from Long Beach Wilson High. He holds a Master of Arts in Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Arts in English from UCLA.  He is a father of four.

Ruben Arenas

Mr. Ruben Arenas 
Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Advancement
East Los Angeles College

Team Assistant

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Ruben Arenas is Dean of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Advancement at East Los Angeles College (ELAC), the largest campus in the Los Angeles Community College District. He currently oversees the areas of institutional research, enrollment management, professional development, learning assessment, accreditation, and planning. He started at ELAC in 2008 as a full-time faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and assumed his current position in April 2015.  As a faculty member, Mr. Arenas was involved in a number of areas including supplemental instruction, the College's first-year experience, STEM education, Computer Science education, and improving outcomes in developmental mathematics.  He served on the College's Academic Senate for a number of years.

Mr. Arenas completed his undergraduate coursework in mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, and his master's degree at University of California, San Diego.

Elizabeth Estrella

Ms. Elizabeth Estrella

General Counseling
Hartnell College

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Elizabeth Estrella is a community college graduate and the daughter of farm workers.  Ms. Estrella received her bachelor's degree from University California, Santa Barbara in Sociology and Religious Studies, and has a master's degree from San Diego State University.  She currently works as a general counselor and has experience with EOPS/CARE, Cal Works, and Gear-Up.

Ms. Estrella is active in basic skills education, and has assisted with the writing of her college's SSSP plan and SEP grant.  She enjoys innovation and technology, but could do without the cost of upkeep.

Cyndie Luna

Ms. Cyndie Luna

Communication Instructor, Faculty ALO

Fresno City College

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Ms. Luna currently teaches Communication at Fresno City College. She serves as the Faculty Accreditation Liaison and is department co-chair of Communication Arts. She has been with State Center Community College District since 1998 and has worked in institutional research, planning and program review. She has previously served on the board of the Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges and holds an MA in Speech Communication from California State University, Fresno.

Nancy Jones

Ms. Nancy Jones
Dean of Instruction - CTE
Coastline Community College

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Nancy S. Jones received her BS in Business/Education from Oral Roberts University, MA in Communications Advertising from CSU Fullerton, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership Program at CSU Fullerton.  Serving as the Dean of Instruction for Career and Technical Education at Coastline Community College, Ms. Jones also serves as the Co-PI for the CyberWatch West NSF grant and is responsible for curriculum development and alignment.  She has taught computer networking at Coastline both part time and full time for over 21 years and has served as the Academic Senate President for six years as well as department chair for 13 years before moving into administration.  On a statewide basis, as a faculty member Ms. Jones has served as the faculty facilitator for the Statewide Career Pathways Project, and discipline facilitator for the Computer Science/Computer Information Systems C-ID Project.  Research interests include Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) Cohorts, student success strategies, and first year experience programs.

Maryanne Mills

Ms. Maryanne Mills

Instruction and Outreach Librarian
West Valley College

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Maryanne Mills is currently the Outreach & Instruction Librarian at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA.  Prior to this position, she served as the Information Competency Librarian from 2004 - 2010 at West Valley.  She currently serves on the college's Distance Learning Committee and Student Success Team. Past committee work includes:  Information Competency Task Force, Curriculum Committee, Academic Senate and Global Citizenship Committee. She is a member of the American Library Association and the California Academic & Research Libraries Association.

Leta Stagnaro

Dr. Leta Stagnaro
Vice President Academic Affairs/Deputy Superintendent
Ohlone College

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Dr. Leta Stagnaro serves as the Vice President of Academic Affairs/Deputy Superintendent at Ohlone Community College District. Leta holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership, Master's Degree in Business Administration, and Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports Medicine.  Leta began her employment at Ohlone in 1998 as a faculty member in the Kinesiology and Athletics Department. She has served as an Academic Dean coordinating curriculum and program development for several academic programs. Also, she provided oversight for economic and workforce development and community education programs.  Leta developed the academic programming and operational plans for the Ohlone Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology. The campus that serves over 3000 students opened in 2008 and was the first community college campus to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest level awarded for green buildings from the United States Green Building Council.  Prior to taking on her current assignment, she served as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Leslie Guy Buckalew

Dr. Leslie Buckalew, B.S. M.P.H, Ed.D.
Vice President of Student Learning
Columbia College

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Currently Leslie serves as the Vice President of Student Learning at Columbia College, one of two colleges in the Yosemite Community College District.  She is responsible for all aspects of instruction. Leslie has held statewide leadership roles in the area of Economic Development and Career Technical Education. She is committed to excellence in education and data driven data decision making in the California Community Colleges. Her personal and professional interests include the impact of technology on teaching and learning.

Dr. Buckalew has also worked for some of the largest and most successful global companies in the world. She ran global markets for Siemens, Cisco, & Adobe. Additionally, she was recruited to serve as Executive VP for a high tech start-up. Her professional expertise includes sales & marketing for vertical industries such as finance, education, health care, government and defense. Her extensive background in both higher education and business equip her to uniquely assist and support students in their career and professional goals.

Richard Kudlik

Mr. Richard Kudlik
Manager, Fiscal Services
Rancho Santiago CCD

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After obtaining my master's degree in accounting, I started my career as an auditor in public accounting at Arthur Andersen LLP.  I worked with Andersen for four years and became a CPA in 2001. Subsequent to my time in the private sector, I took a position as the District Director of Internal Audit at Coast Community College District where I worked for 8 years, and also as an Interim Director of Fiscal Services at Coastline College within the Coast District for a year and a half where I was responsible for creating the budget for the college as well as the day-to-day accounting function. From Coast, I came to Rancho Santiago Community College District where I have been the Manager, Fiscal Services for over two years where I am responsible for the day-to-day accounting function.

Joe Wyse

Dr. Joe Wyse
Shasta College

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Dr. Joe Wyse is the Superintendent/President of the Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College District.  He started in this position on August 1, 2011 after serving for the previous four years as Vice President of Administrative Services for Shasta College.  He completed his Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership at Pepperdine University in May 2014, and holds a Master's degree in New Testament Studies from Trinity International University, and a Bachelor's degree in Physics from Kenyon College.  Dr. Wyse's prior experience includes serving as Executive Director at the Trinity Law School and Graduate School, part of Trinity International University, California Regional Center, from 2004 - 2007.  Dr. Wyse served in several other administrative positions at Trinity International University, including Associate Dean of Administration from 1998 - 2004 and Director of Enrollment Services from 1996 -1998.

Dr. Wyse serves as the Area 1 Representative on the Community College League of California's CEO Board as well as serving on the boards of the California Community College Athletic Association and the Association of California Community College Administrators. 

David Bugay

Dr. David Bugay
Vice Chancellor Human Resources
South Orange County CCD

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Before he became the Vice Chancellor Human Resources for South Orange County Community College District, Dr. Bugay spent over a decade in other higher education positions as well as almost a decade in K-12 education as principal and administrator. An organizational behaviorist, he serves on the boards for Association of California Community College Administrators, Association of Chief Human Resource Officers and International Higher Education Teaching Learning. He is a frequent presenter on topics ranging from change, to hiring, to communication.

Kathleen Scott

Dr. Kathleen Scott
Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs
Pasadena City College

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Kathleen Scott, Ed.D. is the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Pasadena City College.  She oversees the instructional programs, enrollment management, distance education, basic skills, library, learning support services, and professional development.  She also serves as the institution's Accreditation Liaison Officer.  Before joining Pasadena City College in 2014, she served as an instructional dean and later as Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation Liaison Officer at Ventura College.  Her experience includes teaching basic skills English and literature at the community college.  She also served for several years as a Department Chair and an Academic Senate Officer. 


of Educational Quality and Institutional Effectiveness


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