PCC to submit report in effort to get off probation - Tucson News Now

PCC to submit report in effort to get off probation

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Pima Community College is submitting a 73-page "Monitoring Report" to the Higher Learning Commission by August 1 as part of its plan to get off academic probation.

The plan includes ways to improve handling of complaints and faculty oversight of the curriculum, according to a news release.

The Higher Learning Commission found issues with the school's work environment, among other reported problems and placed PCC on probation in April.

"The report is a major step forward in an ongoing process of self-examination and reassessment for the College," Chancellor Lee D. Lambert said. "We are identifying what went wrong and how we can put it right, with the result being improved service to our students and the community."

The full "Monitoring Report" lists 30 recommendations for improvement, including a review of how PCC teaches its remedial education classes to help students achieve their academic goals; creating an office charged with tracking all complaints to ensure that all parties are treated ethically; and finding external investigators without a strong financial connection to PCC.

The report also lists recent substantial PCC improvements, including the PCC Governing Board's approval on June 25 of a resolution affirming the school's commitment to open admissions; the creation of an email address for each member of the board, so that the public can communicate quickly and directly with its elected officials; and an online publication of the rules that define the operation and responsibilities of the board, known as the board bylaws, according to PCC.

The school posted the report draft online on July 3 and hosted an online forum for the public to weigh in with an accompanying online survey. According to a news release, the 132 posted public comments can be found on the website.

PCC Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, Dr. Jerry Migler, says financial aid and student transfers to Arizona universities are not affected by the current probation status.

"The University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University have assured us that transfer will continue as it always has for PCC students," Migler said.

An HLC accreditation team will visit PCC in the fall of 2014 and February 2015 to determine if the college will be taken off probation.

"The quality of our instruction and programs is undiminished. The HLC has not identified any concerns with PCC academics or student services. We remain a great place to get a quality education at a reasonable price," Migler said.

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