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Guest Column: CR to meet new challenge

Tom Harris, interim president of CR

College of the Redwoods recently received notice that its accreditation status was placed on probation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). It is important to understand that CR will remain fully accredited during the probation period. I assure students, potential students or parents of students that all of CR's classes, degrees, or certificates of achievement retain all of their educational value.

It is important to know that our probation status has nothing to do with the quality of our academic and vocational programs, which are excellent. CR has achieved a stellar reputation both regionally and throughout the state over its 42-year history. We will continue to provide excellent education for the communities we serve long into the future.

The commission's concerns relate to what they see as deficiencies in our ability to plan and engage more people in specific planning areas, as well as deficiencies in our ability to document what we are doing.

Since I arrived on the North Coast in early July, I have found the dedicated faculty and staff at CR focused on addressing the commission's recommendations quickly. I can assure you I have full confidence that we will get the job done.

We must provide the commission with a written progress report by October 15, 2007. That report will be followed by a site visit at CR by commission representatives before the end of November 2007. The commission will then issue its decision on the next step in CR's accreditation status in January 2008. If the commission believes that more work needs to be done to satisfy its concerns, it could ask for more detailed examples of our progress over a specific period of time.

The commission's role is to help maintain the high quality of education at community colleges. I have been in contact with the commission's president to get specific suggestions regarding how we can best meet its recommendations.

I believe CR has the expertise to get the job done, but we will not hesitate to ask for outside assistance if we feel it will help. Together, we will meet this challenge.

If anyone has a question about CR's accreditation, please call me at 707-476-4170, email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , or write to me at: College of the Redwoods, 7351 Tompkins Hill Road, Eureka, 95501-9300.

Tom Harris is the interim president/superintendent of College of the Redwoods.

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