Originally published in The San Francisco Chronicle, July 4, 2013 | Photo by San Francisco Chronicle staff photographer Ian C. Bates
Shocking, nerve-wracking and upsetting. Those were the words City College of San Franciscostudents used to describe the news that their school’s accreditation will be terminated next year.
While most students were aware that their school had been under review by the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges since last year, none anticipated that it would lose its accreditation so soon – effective July 31, 2014.
“I didn’t see it coming,” said Lulu Matute, who is in her third semester of classes at City College. “It’s shocking.”
Matute, like many of her peers, hopes to continue on to a four-year bachelor’s degree program. On Wednesday afternoon, she donned a navy beanie with the golden insignia of her dream school, “Cal,” scrawled on the back.
While her goal is to transfer to UC Berkeley or a similar four-year school next year, Matute worries that if she chooses to take classes in the fall 2014 semester, the credit she would earn wouldn’t count.
“I want to make sure my time transfers,” she said.
For Wafi Mohamed, a native San Franciscan who has been taking classes at the college since 2010, the news may alter his plans to eventually attend pharmacy school. Mohamed is enrolling in math, physics and English this fall in an effort to finish up his coursework.
He wasn’t sure which school he would be attending in the fall 2014 semester but said that City College had been a possibility.
“But if it doesn’t count, what is the point?” Mohamed said. “I would go somewhere else.”
Philip Turner, who has been taking City College classes since 2007, calculated the impact the decision will have on his education plans.
Turner had a three-semester plan that would have had him transferring to a four-year institution in the fall of 2014. But when he had to retake a prerequisite physics course, he was delayed by a semester. Now, his last semester at City College will also be the school’s first without accreditation.
Other students, such as those who marched to demand aid from City Hall in March, supported the efforts of college administrators and faculty to save City College.
“I wasn’t a part of it,” Matute said, referring to the student movements. “But now I wish I was.”