Cerro Coso Community College is preparing for its accreditation visit conducted by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). This visit, and the preparation that it involves, usually occurs on a six year cycle.
A team of community college professionals is scheduled to visit Cerro Coso this October 1st through 4th. A critical part of the preparation for their visit involves compiling a college Self Evaluation Report to address the mandated themes established by the accrediting commission.
Cerro Coso encourages a broad base of participation in the preparation of its Institutional Self-Evaluation Report. This participation reflects the diversity of the faculty, staff, administration, and students, and the belief of the College that a fair and accurate self-evaluation is the best tool for improving quality of education. The self-evaluation report was planned and written during an 18-month period from fall 2016 to spring 2018. Over 20 faculty and management co-chairs worked together to describe how the college meets 126 accreditation standards in areas as diverse as institutional integrity, facilities resources, and procedures for college-wide decision-making—dialoguing in the process with over 14 college committees, units, and work groups.
In addition to this internal participation, the report was also reviewed during spring 2018 by a sub-committee of the Kern Community College Board of Trustees, the Kern Community College District Chancellor, and the Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and feedback provided. The final draft was completed In June, and the final document presented to and approved by the Board of Trustees at its July 2018 meeting. Public comment was solicited for the Self Evaluation in August as a last step before the visit by the peer review team.
In preparation for the visit, the ACCJC appoints and trains a team of external, peer reviewers from its database of evaluators. The evaluators are accomplished professionals from institutions within and outside the region who are responsible for the external evaluation of a particular institution. All members of the external evaluation team are selected on the basis of their professional expertise in higher education, areas of specialization, and the unique characteristics of the institution being evaluated.
The team examines the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report, visits the institution as assigned, writes a team report that determines the institution's compliance with the Commission's Standards, and other requirements, makes recommendations for compliance and improvement, and commends excellent practice when appropriate. The team also makes a confidential recommendation to the Commission on the accredited status of the institution.
Institutional Self Evaluation Report
Evaluation Visit Team Members
Monte E. Perez (Team Lead)
Dr. Perez graduated from James A. Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, obtained his bachelor's degree in Social Science Government at California State University, Los Angeles, and his master's and Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Southern California. His passion for education began as a student activist at Cal State L.A. He was a leader in the High School Walk Outs of 1968, the formation of Chicano Studies and the creation of the Educational Opportunity Program.
Dr. Perez started his higher education career as the Assistant Director of Admissions at Stanford University. Subsequently, he served as the director of the Educational Opportunity Program and Student Support Services at California State University, Los Angeles while also teaching Political Science and Chicano Studies. He implemented numerous outreach and retention programs at Stanford and California State University, Los Angeles. He was a founder of Council of Opportunity in Education (COE). COE, headquartered in Washington D.C.is the national coalition of TRIO programs that serve low income and disadvantaged students in higher education.
Selected as a policy fellow for the U.S. Department of Education, he became the Secretary's senior policy analyst with expertise in financial aid, workforce education, TRIO, and youth employment. Upon returning to California, he was appointed the Director of Community and Organizational Relations for the Educational Testing Service's Western Regional Office and later promoted as the Director. As the Director of the Western Regional Office, he managed the Immigration Naturalization Service' (INS) citizenship testing program. ETS administered 250,000 citizenship tests under his leadership.
In 1997, Dr. Perez joined the National Hispanic University (NHU) in San Jose, California as the Director of Institutional Research and promoted to Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. He engineered the successful WASC accreditation for NHU as the first Latino non-profit independent senior college on the West Coast. In 2004, Dr. Perez was selected as the Vice President of Student Services at Golden West Community College in Huntington Beach, California where he was a senior administrator engaged in student success, enrollment growth initiatives, accreditation, and the facilities bond program. On July 1, 2008, Dr. Perez became the President of the Moreno Valley Campus. Moreno Valley College prepares students for transfer and careers in allied health and public safety.
On May 2011, Dr. Perez assumed the Presidency of Los Angeles Mission College (LAMC) serving San Fernando Valley and one of the nine colleges of the Los Angeles Community College District. LAMC prepares students for transfer and careers in allied health, STEM, administration of justice, child and family studies, information technology, culinary arts, digital media, and K-8 teaching careers. During his tenure, the campus has increased enrollment by 15%, constructed Culinary Arts, Center for Math and Science and Arts, Media and Performance buildings and established innovative programs serving incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and students on the Autism spectrum.
Dr. Perez has participated in numerous academic presentations including his papers on the integration of academic affairs and student services at Oxford University, revising the California Master Plan in Higher Education at the University of Vienna, and a presentation on Exemplary Enrollment and Retention Strategies in Community Colleges at the Education Testing Service's National Community College symposium. Dr. Perez also serves as the President of the national Board of Governors for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) representing 492 two year and four year colleges and universities. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl of the 3rd. district recently appointed him as a board member to the Los Angeles County Board of Education.
Assistant to the Team Lead
Nicole Albo-Lopez is a product of the community college system. She began her education at Spokane Community College where she earned a certificate of completion in Dental Assisting. Shortly after graduating, she served at both the state, and national level as a member of the American Dental Assistants Association. After a 10-year career as a certified dental assistant, Nicole began her second career as a community college adjunct faculty member and Dental Assisting Program Director at Rio Salado College (Tempe, Arizona). In 2006, she earned a Master in Health Professions Degree from Midwestern University (Glendale, Arizona).
Over the past 16 years, she has served in both faculty and administrative roles. From 2006 - 2009 she served as the Faculty Chair, Dental Programs at Rio Salado College. Under her leadership, the college gained accreditation for the first fully online dental assisting program in the country. She was also instrumental with the building of the national Community Dental Health Coordinator program in conjunction with the American Dental Association. In 2009, she was selected to be the Associate Dean of Instruction at the College, and while in that role she worked with a local high school district to create a concurrent enrollment dental assisting program allowing high school seniors to graduate with both a diploma and a college certificate of completion in dental assisting. Shorty thereafter, she was promoted to serve as the Interim Dean, Academic Affairs. Under her leadership, the college was successful with its re-affirmation of accreditation (2012). While serving as the Interim Dean, she was additionally responsible for overseeing the college's allied health programs, curriculum division, institutional integrity department as well as the college's institutional research office.
Dr. Albo-Lopez and her family relocated to Southern California at the end of 2012. Upon her transition to California, she accepted a position as Dean of Academic Affairs and Workforce Development at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. During her tenure on the campus, she oversaw and supported a myriad of areas including curriculum, catalog and scheduling, library, non-credit, tutoring, and the launch of the Liberal Arts Pathway (English, Mathematics, Behavioral and Social Science, Language Arts and Humanities, the Transfer Center, and the Puente Project). In 2016, Nicole completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, Arizona). Today, she expands her expertise to serve as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Los Angeles Mission College.
Eric Bishop is Vice President of Student Services for Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. He has been at Chaffey since 2007 and has served as Dean of the Fontana Campus, Interim Dean of Physical Education and Athletics, and Director of Discipline in his time. He serves as Title IX Compliance Officer, and also as tri-chair on the President's Equity Council for the college. His position oversees 15 student service areas including among others Counseling, and Special Populations and Equity Programs. He leads with a vision of wanting to make higher education a reality for everyone who holds the desire to pursue that goal.
Prior to taking the position at Chaffey, Eric was Associate Dean of Academic Support and Retention at the University of La Verne and taught journalism and mass media studies for seven years. He currently serves as an adjunct faculty member for the University of La Verne, as well as in the doctoral program at San Diego State University.
Eric completed his doctorate in organizational leadership (Ed.D.) from La Verne in 2008 and earned his bachelors (1988 in journalism), and masters (1994 in communications) from the university.
Dr. Joe Carrithers
Dr. Joe Carrithers has taught composition, literature, and film studies at Fullerton College for 24 years. He has spent the past five years serving as the faculty advisor to Associated Students and the Inter-Club Council. He served three years as the president of the Faculty Senate and has been a member of various campus and district committees, including the Planning and Consultative Council, District Planning Council, District Curriculum Coordinating Committee, and Chancellor's Cabinet. He is a past recipient of the President's Award at Fullerton College and was named its Teacher of the Year in 2003. As a member of the Local Senates Committee for the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges for two years, he helped to revise the handbook for local academic senate leaders. He served as co-chair for his college's accreditation self study of 1999, as chair for the self study of 2005, as editor of the self study of 2011, and faculty co-chair for Standards IIB-IIC. He earned bachelor's degrees in English, history, and communications/journalism and a master's degree in English from Mississippi State University and a master's degree and doctorate in English from the University of Southern California. This is his eleventh time serving as a member of an accreditation site visit team.
Paula Demanett is a librarian at Fresno City College. Paula holds master's degrees in library and information science, conflict resolution and peacemaking, and instructional design & technology. Her current library duties include electronic services, technical services and collection management, and instruction/reference. Ms. Demanett currently is her college's Program Review Coordinator. During her nineteen years at Fresno City College, she has served as co-chair for the college's Institutional Research and Effectiveness Committee, the Distance Education Coordinator, Academic Senate President, member of the Academic Senate Executive Board, and member of the college's Strategic Planning Council. In addition, Paula has served as a volunteer on resource teams for the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative.
Dan Gutowski is the administrative services supervisor at San Diego Miramar College overseeing joint use relationship with City of San Diego including budget development and management, approving invoices, operations, and chairing the joint use committee. His professional experience includes institutional planning, budgeting, and bond oversight as acting vice president of administrative services at San Diego Miramar, Mesa, and Continuing Education. He has also served as acting academic Administrator, Southwestern College; president of Supervisory and Professional Administrators Association meet and confer unit; adjunct professor; and Academic Senate Executive Committee member. This will be Dan's second ACCJC accreditation visiting team assignment. He has served as tri-chair writing team leader for two ACCJC accreditation cycles at his home institution, and he also has experience as the lead writer for the financial section of WASC.
Jake Kevari currently holds the position of Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation Liaison Officer at Copper Mountain College (CMC). Serving in this capacity, Mr. Kevari is responsible for administrating, coordinating, and communicating a comprehensive college-wide planning and institutional research program that drives data informed decision making across the institution. To perform these tasks, he collaborates with faculty, staff, and administrators through implementation and assessment of program review. With seven years of community college experience, he has held staff, faculty, and administrator positions at various institutions. He also serves as the Chief Instructional Officer (interim) at CMC and an at-large board member for the RP Group.
Dr. Christopher McDonald
Currently serving the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) as Irvine Valley College's Vice President for Instruction, Dr. McDonald has over 18 years' experience in higher education. His extensive background as a high school teacher, an applied mathematics professor, programmer and information technology supervisor, dean, and vice president, has provided Dr. McDonald with a deep understanding of community college governance, career technical education, economic and workforce development, federal grants, and strategic student success initiatives.
In his current capacity as V.P. for Instruction, Dr. McDonald works with faculty, staff, school administrators, and community stakeholders to ensure institutional effectiveness, optimal student performance outcomes, positive accreditation status, federal and state compliance, and the college's fiscal stability.
Dr. McDonald has a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California and a master's and bachelor's degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dr. McDonald currently lives in Orange County with his wife Kaye.
Diane Putnam is an English Instructor at Cabrillo College, where she also serves as the faculty co-chair of the college's institutional self-evaluation process. In her twenty years at Cabrillo, Diane has worn many hats in addition to teaching on- and off-line, including Writing Center Director, Division Chair, Department Chair, and Basic Skills Coordinator. She served on one prior ACCJC visiting evaluation team in spring 2017. This fall, Diane is largely occupied with the seismic forces of AB 705 and Acceleration rolling out at Cabrillo simultaneously, with Guided Pathways in the works. For fun, she enjoys exploring the beaches and mountains around Santa Cruz, where she lives with her husband and two elementary-aged sons.