PCC says it's ahead of schedule in quest to end academic probati - Tucson News Now

PCC says it's ahead of schedule in quest to end academic probation

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Pima Community College says it's ahead of schedule in the process of getting off academic probation.

PCC has been on probation since April when the Higher Learning Commission, or HLC, found several problems dealing with integrity and financial management, among other issues.

Now the college is conducting forums that are meant to bring everyone up to speed on how Pima College is doing as it works to get off probation.

When the HLC's letter came, saying the college had been placed on probation, PCC had only 15 months to identify the problems and fix them to save itself.

Now the college has a new chancellor and hundreds of people working through the process.

PCC is nearly halfway through the process.

AT Thursday morning's forum at the PCC Downtown Campus those gathered heard that the college is hammering away at the requirements for getting off probation, and is meeting its deadlines.

More than 300 college and community volunteers are on various committees.

So far they have gathered evidence.

Now that evidence is being evaluated to see where the college needs to make changes.

However, it will take more than a plan.

The HLC has to see that PCC actually has fixed what's wrong.

Near the end of process PCC must submit what's called a self-study.

Then it has to prove to the HLC that it indeed made the changes that needed to be made.

There is some optimism on campus.

"We're doing well. We have a lot of work ahead of us though, but I'm confident--as long as we maintain the pace, maintain the intensity, we don't get complacent--that we'll, as I said, we'll submit the self- study on time and I'm confident that we'll get off of probation," says Dr. Jerry Migler, PCC Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor.

The college says, while the process continues, it's addressing many employee and student concerns.

The HLC had noted a "culture of fear and retribution" at PCC when it put the school on probation.

KOLD News 13 talked with some PCC employees at the downtown campus forum.

They told us that things are getting better.

"I see a greater responsiveness on the part of the college to individual needs, to helping address the areas that we think need to be improved, and forward action in that area, says PCC Downtown Campus Program Manager Marcia Wojsko.

"Employee concerns are appreciated and they have voice now, versus a culture that people felt like recommendations that they would make never went anywhere. So I think people feel more empowered at this point," says PCC Downtown Campus Counselor Ed Doran.

Future forums this month will be:

October 24:

· Desert Vista Campus, 5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz, Ocotillo Room, 11 a.m.-noon

· West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road, Saguaro Room, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

October 30:

· Community Campus, 401 N. Bonita Ave., A109/112, 9-10 a.m.

October 31:

· East Campus, 8181 E. Irvington Road, Community Room, 1-2 p.m.

To learn more about the academic probation situation at PCC click here

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