Berkeley City College to enroll students if City College of San Francisco closes

Anthony Bongco/Staff

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Berkeley City College and 20 other Bay Area colleges have agreed to enroll students from City College of San Francisco if the latter loses its accreditation next year, according to an Oct. 14 report issued by CCSF.

If CCSF is forced to close due to its loss of accreditation — which will take effect July 31, 2014 — its students will choose between the 21 schools its administrators have identified as accessible by public transportation and capable of accommodating an influx of new students.

The college lost its accreditation after “failing to react to ongoing reduced funding that has caused the institution to reach a financial breaking point,” among other reasons, according to a letter from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges addressed to interim Chancellor Pamila Fisher in July 2012.

According to Shirley Fogarino, public information officer at BCC, it is difficult to predict how many of CCSF’s 85,000 full-time and part-time students would enroll at BCC.

Currently, the commission is reviewing the revocation of CCSF’s accreditation, said Jennifer Aries, a marketing consultant for the college. If the commission does not decide to change its decision to strip CCSF of its accreditation after the review period, the college will officially appeal the accreditation loss.

Aries added that the review and appeal process could take months and that it may extend beyond the July 31 deadline, in which case the college would remain open until the appeal is accepted or rejected.

If CCSF loses its accreditation in July, its administration will support students individually by working with them to choose a new community college that suits them based on location, financial aid and academic fit, Aries said.

Of the 21 colleges, Skyline College in San Bruno, which is located about 10 miles away from San Francisco, is the closest to CCSF.

Lulu Matute, a fourth-semester CCSF student, said she plans to attend BCC if CCSF closes because she hopes to attend UC Berkeley after completing community college.

Matute said CCSF’s closure could have both positive and negative effects on BCC and nearby community colleges.

“Everyone wants priority when it comes to enrolling in classes, especially if students have been in school longer than others,” Matute said. “That could create conflict between returning students and new students coming in from CCSF, but new students could also mean an expansion of resources, like student services or career counseling, in response to the influx.”

Despite Matute’s concerns, as a leader of CCSF’s Students Making a Change, she is extremely optimistic that CCSF will be able to change the minds of accreditation commission’s members. Matute, along with the rest of the organization, plans clean-up days and other community events to rally support for campus improvement. She also advocates the allocation of administrative resources to improve CCSF’s poor Wi-Fi coverage and maintenance of its buildings.

“Our school’s issue with accreditation is the perfect opportunity to improve City College. This is an amazing platform for us to advocate for the allocation of resources,” she said.

Contact Chloee Weiner at [email protected].