Laney College

Eagle Flies: Accreditation (March 2010)

Eagle Flies: Accreditation (March 2010)

Message from Acting President Elnora Tena Webb, Ph. D.


Laney On Track to Accreditation Reaffirmation

Laney College was given full accreditation by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) in summer 2009. Laney was one of only five community colleges – out of 27 reviewed last year – to receive a clean bill of health from the accrediting team. Affirmation by the Commission is really a confirmation of our work together for the past several years.

At the same time, the ACCJC offered several recommendations to the Peralta Community College District that require the Colleges/District to respond in a report to be submitted by March 15, 2010. Last week, the Peralta Board of Trustees approved Laney’s draft Follow-up Accreditation Report. We will submit this document to the ACCJC before the deadline. We are expecting a favorable campus visit from Commission representatives in April.

Financial Resources & Technology

A major District recommendation focuses on Financial Resources and Technology. This recommendation stems from the difficulties the District has experienced with regard to the implementation of an enterprise management system (PeopleSoft). Those difficulties include completion of a full installation and implementation of all necessary financial system modules, training of staff in order to move from the methodology of the legacy system to the methodology of an enterprise management system, and the resultant effects which led to material weaknesses and substantive findings delineated in the 2007-2008 independent audit report.

District administration has been working since our acquisition of the PeopleSoft system to fully implement the system. District administration has taken this recommendation seriously and recognizes the pressing need to respond to this issue and the need to have the project implementation completed no later than 2011. The exit reports and the ACCJC action letter highlighted the need for a quick resolution to this issue in order to ensure the stability of the District. District administration readily agrees with the requirement for a resolution to the issue in two years.

The District has taken aggressive steps to resolve immediately the functional issues in part by bringing in Mr. Thomas Henry as a District consultant. With an extra-ordinary track record for sound and expeditious resolution of financial and related information technology (IT) infrastructure problems, the College is hopeful about full resolution of this matter.

Management Systems


The second recommendation focused on Management Systems and requires the District to resolve the functional issues associated with the implementation of the PeopleSoft enterprise system, with specific focus on the student, human resources and financial aid administration modules. The Colleges and the District recognized the importance of this issue even prior to the team visit. While District administration has been responding to a full and functional implementation of PeopleSoft, the ACCJC recommendation has spotlighted the need for quicker results.

Laney continues to assist with this effort (and the Financial Resources and Technology recommendation) with the recent re-assignment of key Laney staff to the District. Specifically, the Laney Coordinator of Financial Aid is now serving as Interim Director of Financial Aid. The Laney Business Manager is helping to facilitate complete installation of the modules and addressing other fiscal matters within the District Office of Budget and Finance. The Dean of Business, Mathematics and Sciences is now serving as the Interim Director of Institutional Research for the District. This support is in addition to the on-going leadership of Laney professionals who serve on a diverse range of budgetary and IT related District committees and workgroups.

Board & District Administration

The final District recommendation focuses on Board and District Administration. In 2003, there was a broader and more detailed recommendation made regarding clarity on the role of the District and the role of the Colleges, and how those roles intersected. This earlier recommendation was responded to in progress reports filed in 2004 and 2005, as well as the focused mid-term report of 2006. There was no request beyond 2006 to provide any additional response to the 2003 recommendation.

The 2009 recommendation was more focused with specific attention to the services the District office provides the Colleges, the need to assess the overall effectiveness of these services, and to provide clear delineation of functional responsibilities and develop clear processes for decision-making. The District and Colleges have addressed this recommendation. The district-wide decision making processes have been assessed and improved to address identified gaps. In addition, the clarified functional responsibilities of the District in support of its Colleges have been communicated.

The June 2009 ACCJC letter also indicated two concerns specifically with regard to Laney, namely the Laney College Mission Statement and Student Services Student Learning Outcomes Assessment and Analysis of Data.

Mission Statement

The Commission requires Laney to address its concern regarding the College’s mission statement, which they noted should be revised to include the intended population and the College’s commitment to student learning. Consequently, Laney students, faculty, classified staff, and administrators revised the College mission statement to state the following:

Laney College, located in downtown Oakland, California, is a diverse, urban community college committed to student learning. Our learner-centered college provides access to quality transfer and career-technical education, foundation skills and support services. These educational opportunities respond to the cultural, economic, social, and workforce needs of the greater Bay Area and increase community partnerships and global awareness.


Student Learning Outcomes

The Commission also required Laney to accelerate the assessment and analysis of the student learning outcomes (SLO) data from Student Services. In response to this concern, the Laney College Student Services Division has accelerated its development and implementation plans to reach proficiency in carrying out the full cycle of SLO assessment at the program and course‐level (Counseling discipline) by 2012.

Laney College has accelerated the assessment of SLOs so that the results can be used in order to improve student learning and better ensure student success. In addition, special actions have been taken to increase the rate of institutional progress in the development and assessment of Student Services SLOs. Specific benchmarks are:

By January 2010

  • Administer a comprehensive Student Services divisional satisfaction survey
  • Develop a minimum of 85% of Student Services SLO statements

By February 2010

  • Move to data collection phase of the assessment cycle by a minimum of 60% of Student Services

By March 2010

  • Completed SLO Planning Forms by at least 80% of Student Services
  • Complete critical analysis of the data collected from the Student Enrollment Survey that was conducted in Fall 2008. These results will affect future improvement planning for enrollment systems and services

By the End of the Spring 2010 Term

  • Move an additional 25% of Student Services (of the remaining 40%) to the data collection phase

Accreditation Success

The success of this accreditation effort exemplifies the commitment and dedication of the Laney faculty, classified staff, and administrators. Special appreciation goes to
Drs. Matthew Goldstein and Karolyn van Putten, along with members of the Self Study team, for ensuring a high quality, rigorous and honest assessment of Laney.

A “special thank you” to Dean Linda Sanford for coordinating the College mission statement revision efforts.

Deep gratitude goes to Dean Newin Oranté and the rest of the Student Services team for their focused and sustained hard work in accelerating assessment of student learning outcomes.

Ongoing appreciation is sustained for ALL professionals who work collegially with the District and at the College to actualize the improvements necessary.

Most important, thank you students – for without you this College would have no purpose. Continue to engage in the rigorous pursuit of high quality learning and challenge us as we work earnestly to improve conditions and the overall effectiveness of Laney College.

I firmly believe that the success of the accreditation process was due to the inclusion of a broad range of faculty, classified staff, all administrators and students.

Our success will be enhanced with sustained engagement by all College stakeholders to fully implement the Laney College Educational Master Plan, which has as its guiding framework the ACCJC standards. I am committed to the equally transparent and participatory process that is required to ensure the success of this Plan.

I invite your active participation in shaping the future of Laney College.

Please view the Educational Master Plan at:

To view accreditation materials, go to: