AB 1942

By Jory Segal, 02.19.14

Assemblymember Bonta’s AB 1942 Calls for
Fair Accreditation of California Community Colleges

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, in front of a packed room of supporters at the State Capitol, Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) announced the introduction of the Fair Accreditation for California Community Colleges Act (AB 1942), which would reform the accreditation system for California Community Colleges.

“AB 1942 will restore transparency, accountability, and due process to the state community college accreditation system by establishing consistent and fair evaluation standards in the accreditation of our state’s 112 community colleges, which serve more than 2.4 million students. The bill will also allow community colleges to choose their own accrediting entity, setting the stage for a more refined system through competition.

“The Fair Accreditation for California Community Colleges Act is a response to a number of issues that have arisen regarding the current accreditation agency for the state, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). While California community colleges are widely recognized as a model of higher education excellence and access for low income students, current actions by the ACCJC have compromised and unfairly singled out community colleges in an inconsistent manner,” said Assemblymember Bonta.

Bonta described the four key components of the bill as follows:
1.     Introduces competition to the accreditation process: Allows community college districts to choose their accreditation agency.
2.     Restores transparency and accountability: Requires an accreditor to make decisions at a public hearing and requires public disclosure of income and expenditures of accreditors’ employees and contractors. Requires accreditation documents to be maintained for at least 10 years.    
3.     Restores fairness to the accreditation process: Requires an accreditor to provide due process and notice to the public and colleges about evaluations and allows colleges to appeal decisions.
4.     Maintains integrity of the accreditation system: Eliminates potential conflicts of interest by accreditors. The integrity of the system is further ensured by requiring the accreditor to annually disclose to the public information regarding charges to member institutions, and fiscal data for the accreditor's employees and contractors, including the source and amount of income and expenditures.