Editorial – Sink or swim: accreditation issues shouldn’t be drowning students

Lariat Editorial Board

It seems that every semester we here at the Lariat have an issue with the accreditation process here at Saddleback College. For the last 20 plus years you can go back through our carefully and painstakingly organized archives and see the stories we’ve written. Some may ask why we feel so strongly toward the subject as to continuously dig at old wounds, over and over again. Well friends, we’ll tell you.

It seems to be that our college has been given chance after chance to get it right, and time after time we don’t.

The definition of insanity is doing the same actions expecting different results sound familiar to anyone?

Obviously what we’ve been doing isn’t working, so fix it, try something new, and jump in head first to something fresh and exciting since the old way doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore.

The average student doesn’t realize the severity of the situation. No accreditation, no school; no school, no education; no education, no job. Do see where we are going with this?

If you had asked most of us here on the paper two years ago what accreditation was and the process we would have looked at you like you were asking us to perform brain surgery. However, once you get into it, you realize just how important it is and that our board seems to be more interested in what they want than what we need. Don’t we pay money to go here? Are our tax dollars being taken out of our hard earned paychecks for nothing?

If we did lose our accreditation, where would we go? Just think of everything that would be impacted: tuition, parking, class availability; the list goes on. Saddleback already has a large academic community, and if we are to lose our accreditation, whose going to fill the space?

Now sure, putting everything in place isn’t necessarily the easiest task on the planet, it takes hard work, and the cooperation of many to get it done, but honestly, after 20 years, someone should be able to do the job? Come on!

The latest submission that was sent back to the board pointed out that yes, we have improved on certain things, however, and everything still isn’t finished. For instance, you know the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) that everyone despises, as of late you have about one in each class, but guess what kiddies, it should be three.

Maybe it’s just us, but isn’t the whole point of a community college to help prepare you to transfer to a four-year school? So if we aren’t being prepared correctly, how are we expected to do our best once we do get into a university? We’ve been getting by so easily and now we’re going to be fed to the sharks. Call us crazy, but we’d rather start with the sharks, learn how to defend myself and then be able to survive by filleting said sharks and making them into an exotic dinner.

It should be easier when we transfer, that’s what we’ve spends the last years of our lives preparing to do we should at least be given the chance to swim instead of sink.