July 31, 2019
Dear University Community,
On July 12, 2019, the campus received our final WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) action letter as the culmination of our campus’ reaffirmation of accreditation process, following our closing campus meeting with the WASC Senior College and University Commission Panel Review on June 27, 2019, and after the submission of our Stanislaus State Institutional Report in September 2018 and the site visit in April 2019.
The Commission letter and the WSCUC Evaluation Team Site Visit Report are posted on our institution’s website. The Commission’s action letter includes commendations, recommendations and the Commission’s determination on our reaffirmation of accreditation. We are very grateful to the WSCUC Commission and our WSCUC Site Visiting Team for their review and reaffirmation of our campus.
As indicated in the 2013 Handbook of Accreditation, the Commission may reaffirm accreditation for a period of 6, 8, or 10 years, or impose a sanction or other conditions. After the Commission’s evaluation, they have reaffirmed Stanislaus State’s accreditation for a period of eight years, with an interim report to be submitted by March 1, 2022, to address issues related to the Stockton Campus.
In the report, WSCUC commended Stan State in numerous areas, including:
- Our campus’ commitment to students and community and our intentional efforts to remain “unimpacted” in order to provide greater access for students in our region;
- Our returning the campus, “to a very positive campus climate. The president and provost have restored a sense of trust and collaboration across the entire campus while strong faculty leadership and faculty in general have created a vibrant and exciting learning institution” with “effective shared governance”;
- Our improved and clarified RPT process;
- Our development and implementation of “a new strategic plan with strong support across the campus”;
- Our “being a data-driven campus where decisions are made based on evidence and student learning outcomes”;
- Our improved budget process, which is “consultative, transparent and aligned with the new strategic plan”;
- Our GREAT Committee and the Faculty Fellows program as showing significant promise;
- Our students and student leaders on the Turlock campus who “are enthusiastic about their University.”
The Commission report also cited areas for improvement, and is requiring the campus to respond to the following issues:
- The University should annually closely monitor, track, coordinate and support the many new initiatives by discipline to ensure they remain part of the University culture and budget;
- While the RPT process has been clarified, the campus is now required to carefully review department elaborations to ensure that the RPT process is meaningful and trustworthy and that the elaborations must provide greater specificity regarding departments’ prioritized criteria needed for promotion and/or tenure;
- The University is requested to develop specific assessment tools to monitor and track the direct and indirect effects of our over-enrollment policies on all aspects of the University, and develop long-range fiscal and quality benchmarks;
- The Commission was concerned with academic and student support at the Stockton Campus, and specifically asked that the University work closely with the CSU system to address these concerns.
Requirement to submit an Interim Report Regarding the Stockton Campus:
Most notably, the Commission expressed strong encouragement for the University and the CSU System to evaluate all aspects of the Stockton Campus including academic program quality, academic support for students and faculty, student support services and student success. More specifically, our campus was asked to schedule and submit an Interim Report in two years, by March 1, 2022, to address the following issues related to the Stockton Campus:
- Assessment of student support services, academic supports such as tutoring and supplemental instruction, classroom technology services, co-curricular experiences, high-impact practices, other supports for engaged learning and faculty support;
- Conditions of the existing physical plant and a systemwide decision on plans for a replacement facility;
- A financial plan and budget allocation that support a high-quality educational experience at this location;
- An updated strategic plan for the location with specific benchmarks that can assess the quality, rigor and viability of this educational setting.
We understand the Commission’s concerns and the campus had already begun to address many of the areas related to the Stockton Campus. For example, prior to the accreditation team’s visit, the president had created the Stockton Warrior Team, comprised of representatives from the Chancellor’s Office and members of the Stan State community, who began meeting to discuss the needs of the Stockton community and explore options for growing the programs and facilities for our students. We introduced the Warriors on the Way (WOW) program, a partnership with San Joaquin Delta College, to create a seamless transfer experience for students to complete their bachelor’s degree in business administration, liberal studies or psychology without leaving Stockton. We completed a building feasibility study for the Stockton Campus; added a full-time student outreach coordinator; improved classroom technology — including adding a smart classroom; and increased our connection with the Stockton community in terms of footprint and visibility.
Following the Commission’s specific and comprehensive recommendations, the University will:
- Continue to annually monitor student success outcomes and budget sustainability for our many new initiatives;
- Work with departments to clarify specific department criteria needed for promotion and/or tenure;
- Expand our data analyses and benchmark assessment of our long-range enrollment management plans and linked budget forecasting.
Immediate and specific actions steps for the Stockton Campus will include:
- Working through our normal shared governance processes to expand and update a comprehensive vision and plan for the Stockton Campus;
- Continue our work with the CSU Chancellor’s Office and the Stockton Site Authority to build a new classroom and student services building to replace the Acacia Building;
- Continue to build long-term Stockton Campus separate budgeting and staffing plans to fund and hire additional needed staff (e.g., full-time advisor at Delta College to facilitate recruitment and advising for students in WOW);
- Using student feedback, continue to enhance student support services (e.g., advising, tutoring, health services, career services) on the campus and consider other programs and services to meet the needs of our Stockton students;
- Increase the number of degree programs offered through the WOW program from three to six;
- Regularly communicate updates on the Stockton campus to the campus community;
- Continue to develop assessment tools to evaluate student learning achievement, including gains in core competencies, disaggregated by location and degree type;
- Continue to work in close collaboration with the CSU Chancellor’s Office in all of these efforts.
While there is work to be done, I want to thank so many across campus who provided outstanding and continued support to this WSCUC effort. First, heartfelt thanks go to our WASC Steering Committee members:
- Harold Stanislaw, Co-chair
- Shawna Young, Co-chair
- Christopher Claus, Principal Writer, Communication Studies Department Chair
- Erin Littlepage, Assessment Specialist in the Provost’s Office
- Amy Worrell, Former Accreditation Specialist in the Provost’s Office
- Stuart Wooley, Faculty Fellow for Assessment, Faculty Director of General Education, Professor of Biological Sciences
- Faimous Harrison, Dean of the Stockton Campus
- Gabriela Nuño, Director of the Academic Success Center
- Jovonte Willis, Former Director of Institutional Research
- JungHa An, Professor of Mathematics
- Keith Nainby, Professor of Communication Studies
- Dylan McAlister-Becker, University Student Union Representative
- Mia Brudnicki, Special Initiatives Analyst in the Provost’s Office
- Oddmund Myhre, Dean of the College of Education, Kinesiology, and Social Work
- Regan Linderman, Associate Vice President for Financial Services
- Tiffany Spaulding, Documentary Producer and Editor, Former Student Representative
The WASC Steering Committee included an additional 30 campus stakeholders, and more than 300 University community members were engaged in the self-study process and WSCUC visiting team site visit. In addition, I also would like to acknowledge the Ad Hoc Trust Restoration Planning Committee’s seven years of efforts, the Strategic Plan Working Group, the Committee to Implement and Prioritize the Strategic Plan, the Ad-Hoc Retention, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT) Survey Group and the University Retention, Promotion, and Tenure Committee for their long-standing consultation and work. Finally, special thanks also go to the Office of Information Technology, Facilities Services, Event Services, Chartwells and our Communications Team who supported our WSCUC review process.
In summary, we have much to be grateful for, and we remain excited about our opportunity to showcase our continued strong progress on student success through this WSCUC reaffirmation process.
Thank you for the tremendous work and for your sustained dedication as we continue to help Stan State excel for our students, faculty, staff and community!