Accreditation Self-Evaluation (2020-2021)
January 2020 - May 2021

Sponsor: Executive Leadership Team

Project Background and Need (Why is the project necessary?)

This project team is needed to serve as ARC's workgroup for the upcoming accreditation comprehensive review. Project team members will also be expected to participate in training, identification of evidence, informational campaigns, and other related items. Embedded within this project is an opportunity to lead the institution to reflect upon its effectiveness in serving its mission and identify potential areas for future enhancement.

Project Purpose and Scope (What is the project expected to encompass? What are the boundaries?)

ARC is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and will receive its next site visit in fall 2022. Based on the district-wide accreditation timeline, each Los Rios college is expected to identify an accreditation workgroup that will participate in training and preparation during spring 2020. This project team will focus on development of the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER) during the 2020-21 academic year. The draft must be completed by spring 2021 so that it can be approved through college governance structures no later than October 2021. The ISER will be considered by the Board of Trustees in November 2021 and is expected to be submitted to the ACCJC in early 2022.

Project Objectives (What is the project expected to achieve?)

Successful completion of this project is intended to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Participate in training regarding the accreditation process, including the new formative and summative components.
  2. Engage with members of the college community in the accreditation process, including with those who have expertise regarding specific eligibility requirements, accreditation standards, or federal regulations.
  3. Identify evidence to demonstrate how the college meets the accreditation standards.
  4. Organize evidence according to the accreditation standards.
  5. Author language to describe how the evidence supports the accreditation standards.
  6. Document that the college meets the eligibility requirements for accreditation and that the college is in compliance with federal regulations.
  7. Adhere to the district-wide outline for the accreditation process.
  8. Provide updates to the District Accreditation Coordination Committee that communicate the work of the college in the accreditation process.
  9. Complete the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report.
  10. Develop the Quality Focus Essay (QFE).

Project Deliverables (What items will be produced during the project?)

The primary deliverable for this group will be the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER) including a response to each of the accreditation standards and development of the Quality Focus Essay (QFE).

Success Indicators (How will success be measured or determined?)

  1. The project team will work with the Institutional Effectiveness, Student Success, and Operation Councils to solicit feedback on its work.
  2. The project team will submit a draft of the ISER and QFE to the Executive Leadership Team (sponsor) for approval in spring 2021.

Project Assumptions (What conditions are believed to exist?)

  1. The district-wide timeline is organized to keep the progress of the team on track
  2. The team will receive support from the ACCJC accreditation liaison.
  3. The team will receive feedback from the District Accreditation Coordinating Committee.
  4. There will be an opportunity for members of the team to request participation on an accreditation visiting team in 2020-2021.

Project Risks, Constraints, or Dependencies (What factors might impact the project? How might the project intersect with the internal or external environment including other projects?)

The accreditation process has changed significantly since ARC's last comprehensive review in 2015. The process now includes formative and summative components as well as a Quality Focus Essay that will identify future action projects that can contribute to student learning and achievement. ARC will need to consider how to best approach the updated process and how future Quality Focus projects might intersect with its governance structure. 

Other Considerations (What are the anticipated implications related to equity and inclusion; research and data; district policies and regulations; district and/or college-wide practices; college-wide cross-functional relationships; and resource needs such as staffing, workload, technology, and space/facilities?)

It is anticipated that the project team will receive support from individuals and departments across the college in the collection of evidence and supporting documents. Technology support will be needed with the cataloging and organization of evidence. Research support will be needed for institutional data. District resources will be needed in support of district-related accreditation standards.

Project Timeline/Key Milestones

Standard Description of Project Stages

Project Stages Description
Initiation Activities leading to the authorization and chartering of a project team
Preparation Activities which occur once a team is authorized and can be conducted independently to plan, schedule, and setup the project (project management steps)
Team-Based Work Activities which occur in a collaborative environment in which the project team works based on the scope of the charter
Formal Review Activities by which deliverables are submitted to the sponsoring council for formal approval; may involve a sequence of governance review including ELT and/or other entities; formal review may result in acceptance of the deliverables; request for the project team to revisit the design/refinement stages; or abandonment of the project
Closure Activities to celebrate the success of the project and archive the artifacts of the work completed

Planned Governance Flow of Deliverables

Project Stakeholders (Who has a vested interest in the project? Who will it impact?)

Communication Plan (How will information be shared with the stakeholders?)

Based on the previously stated stakeholder list, the general plan for sharing project information is as follows:

Conflict Resolution

Any matter of significance which cannot be resolved by the project leads may be referred to the appropriate administrator (typically the chair of the sponsoring council) or to the President's Executive Staff (PES). Any significant change in charter scope will require approval of a revised charter by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

Project Membership

Project Organization, Roles, and Responsibilities

Role Responsibilities
Project Leads
  • Prepares, leads, and follows up on meetings (see details of the Role of the Chair in the ARC Governance Framework)
  • Communicates the project to various stakeholders, and when appropriate, solicits feedback on dradt deliverables through informal review processes
  • Submits the final deliverables to the sponsoring council for approval
Project Steward
(may be one of the leads or a separate individual)
  • Manages the project on behalf of the sponsoring council
  • Drafts the charter in consultation with the sponsoring council's chairs
  • Conducts preliminary research to gather information on promising practices, product options, or other relevant materials to inform the project
  • Develops a work plan based on the charter to organize, sequence, and schedule the work of the project team within the available time frame
  • Reports progress to the sponsoring council
  • Maintains and archives project documentation at the conclusion of the project
  • Assists the project leads as needed
Team Members
  • Participates in all project meetings and activities
  • Supplies valuable knowledge and perspective (often based on the individual's responsibilities or role at ARC)
  • May be assigned specific project tasks to complete outside of project meetings
  • Assists with the "heavy lifting" that is required to accomplish the project deliverables
External Consultant
  • Provides expertise and assistance from an external (non-ARC) perspective
Executive Sponsor
Large, high-impact projects only:
  • Champions the project from the executive level to secure buy-in and ensure viability
  • Communicates project purpose and vision
  • Allocates appropriate resources to support effective development, execution, and institutionalization
  • Maintains awareness of project status and helps mitigate risk
  • Mediates conflicts and facilitates dialogue to resolve project issues
  • Assumes other responsibilities as appropriate based on the project scope

Student Participation

The student voice contributes a diverse perspective to ARC project teams and is highly valued. As project teams have widely varied meeting schedules which can require a substantial time commitment, a flexible set of options have been defined to ensure that project dialogue and deliverables are influenced by the student perspective.
Please check one or more boxes below that indicate the methods the project lead/co-lead intend to use to facilitate student participation during this project.
Method Description Compensated?
ASB Appointment Associated Student Body (ASB) appoints two students to serve on the project team and attend all meetings. This option is considered the standard method of representation. Yes
Student Resource Panel In consultation with ASB, create a student resource panel that is called upon by the project lead/co-lead to provide student input at key points during the project. The resource panel may be an existing group of students (e.g., Sages) or a temporarily formed group assigned to the project. Yes
ASB Direct Involvement Lead/co-leads work directly with ASB to be placed on an ASB agenda, present the project concept, and solicit input from students during a regularly scheduled ASB meeting. No
Student Survey or Focus Group Project conducts a student survey or focus group through the Institutional Research Office and uses the results to inform the work of the project team. No, but incentives may be provided on a case-by-case basis.
Student Forum or Gallery Walk Project holds a student forum or gallery walk during which large groups of students can provide input in response to narrative or visual prompts. ASB would be asked to assist in publicizing the date/time of the event to the student constituency. No
Other (please specify intended methods) TBD – methods for collecting input from the college as a whole (including students) are yet to be determined