This section describes the accreditation of Bakersfield College: the purpose of accreditation, the context of accreditation at the regional and federal levels, and our accreditation process
In addition to the laws, regulations, and policies, Bakersfield College must abide by the accreditation standards set forth by the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), the two- year education division of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), in order to maintain its accredited status.
- To certify to the public that Bakersfield College has met or exceeded stated criteria of educational quality or standards; should these not be fully met the College could be subject to sanctions up to loss of accreditation
- To promote continuous institutional improvement
- To maintain the high quality of higher education institutions in the region/nation
Regional and Federal Accreditation Context
- Bakersfield College is a member of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), the two-year division of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which is one of seven regional accreditors in the U.S.
- ACCJC encourages and supports institutional development through establishing standards of quality based upon excellent practices in higher education, and evaluating institutions with these standards using a three-part process that includes institutional self-study, peer review, and ACCJC review.
- ACCJC undergoes evaluation by the U.S. Department of Education every five years for its compliance with federal laws and regulations. One federal requirement is that ACCJC enforces its standards of quality equitably for all institutions in its membership.
- ACCJC’s federal recognition allows institutions accredited by ACCJC to be eligible for federal funding and student financial aid.
Bakersfield College Accreditation Process
- Bakersfield College conducts an institutional self-study every six years in order to remain accredited.
- The last completed self-study was conducted during academic year 2011-2012, approved by the KCCD Board of Trustees on September 2012, and submitted to ACCJC on October 2012. The next self-study began work in Spring 2017 and finished in Spring 2018. It will be submitted to the KCCD Board of Trustees by September 2018 before it is submitted to ACCJC no later than October 2018.
- Bakersfield College established the Accreditation Steering Committee in spring 2010 to institutionalize the dynamic accreditation process, establish the structure of the Self-Study, and prepare for the on-site visitation of the Accreditation Team in 2012 as well as future accreditation visits. The committee's charge was expanded in 2014 to include institutional effectiveness and the name changed to Accreditation & Institutional Quality Committee.
- Bakersfield College’s public accreditation web site serves as a repository of accreditation documents from 2000 to the present.
- For the self-study, follow up, and mid-term reports, the College forms work groups for each of the accreditation standards. The various work groups use the BC Accreditation SharePoint site to compile evidence and write up drafts of the sections of the final report (link to old Sharepoint for 2012 ISER and 2015 MidTerm). In order to make the process more transparent to the rest of the college community, various stages of the report drafts are also posted on the BC accreditation working drafts website. Once the final drafts of the various standards are finished, the editor will compile all of the final drafts, make the compilation sound coherent (so it speaks as one voice), and beautify it before sending it on to the Board of Trustees for acceptance. After Board of Trustees acceptance, the document is posted on the public BC Accreditation Website and sent off to ACCJC.