by Chelo Grubb
Pima Community College got word today that it will most likely have its probation lifted, based on a report by the Higher Learning Commission.
The report, which was put together based on a visit to Pima in September, will be one of the main pieces of evidence the commission takes into consideration when deciding the college’s fate in early 2015. The report included the caveat that while the college has made some good progress, many of the programs that have been implemented are still new. As a result, the team is recommending that the college be taken off probation, but put “on notice”—essentially saying that while the progress looks promising, the HLC should make sure everything holds up over time.
“I see today’s recommendation as positive news of where we’ve come and where we’re headed,” Pima Chancellor Lee Lambert said at a press conference. “The team that spent the most time with the college is coming back with this positive recommendation. I think it will be hard for them not to follow that.”
The announcement, which Lambert made encircled by smiling college employees, was met with a standing ovation.
The college’s accreditation has been on probation since the spring of 2013, when community concern brought the HLC to Tucson to look into problems at the college. During that evaluation, the HLC found five standards for accreditation that the college did not meet, including failing to investigate sexual harassment allegations quickly and abusing the college's HR practices.
Read the full report that will be submitted for Pima's upcoming trial here.