The Trouble with City College: A 123-Student Poll

Joe Fitzgerald | August 19, 2013 | Story Politics

Students returned to fall semester classes at the City College of San Francisco last week amidst ongoing controversy over the decision of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to revoke the school's accreditation. To take the temperature of the student body, San Francisco conducted an online poll, the results of which are presented below.

(Note: The poll lasted from July 18th to the 29th, meaning that the results were in before the news broke that the Accreditation Commission itself faced disciplinary action from the U.S. Department of Education.)

With City College slated to lose its accreditation and perhaps close in July 2014, who do you believe deserves the most blame?
CCSF Board of Trustees: 35%
The accrediting commission 33%
California state government: 15%
Faculty unions:
CCSF administrators: 5%

What would you do after July 2014 if CCSF closes altogether?
I will have transferred to another school by then: 20%
I will have earned my degree by then, so it doesn’t matter to me: 9%
I will leave without a degree or transfer: 6%
I don’t know yet: 42%
Other: 23%

The accreditation committee pointed to fourteen major problems at CCSF. Which, if any, of these have you directly experienced in your time at a student? (Choose as many as apply.)
Lack of Board of Trustees following its own policies and by-laws: 15%
Lack of clear roles of leadership responsibility: 13%
Lack of prudent financial planning: 12%
Lack of effective student support services: 11%
Lack of understanding the costs associated with running the physical campuses: 11%
Lack of effective human resources: 8%
Lack of a plan to use technology resources: 7%
Lack of clarity in desired student learning outcomes for courses and degrees: 6%
Lack of metrics and program reviews to measure student learning outcomes: 6%
Lack of a planning process to address campus locations, finance, and teaching: 5%
Lack of a revised mission statement: 5%

City College has more than nine sites across the city. It's already closed two campuses; should it close more?
No, in this economy the city is best served by educating everyone it can: 56%
Not only should the college not close any more locations, it should be expanding to have more campuses: 26%
Yes, in this economy we all need to tighten our belts: 14%
Other: 10%

Who would be most hurt by the college closing?
The entire Bay Area: 81%
Cash-strapped students who can’t afford universities: 14%
Unemployed adults looking for more job skills: 3%
New immigrants who learn English at CCSF: 2%
The more than 1600 faculty members who would be out of work: 1%

Is CCSF worth saving?
Yes, I am receiving a great education: 76%
Maybe, but it needs to undergo major changes: 12%
No, this place deserves the ax: 1%
Other: 11%

How do you think CCSF’s leaders should have responded to the revocation of the school’s accreditation?
Fight tooth and nail. Appeal to anyone in power: 52%
Do whatever the accrediting commission wants them to do. Full cooperation: 23%
CCSF leadership is incapable of doing anything. They’re useless: 10%
It’s too late. We should be looking for other schools. 2%
Other: 14%

How old are you?
18-21: 10%
22-30: 38%
30+: 52%

What’s your yearly income?
Less than $18,000: 35%
$18,000-$30,000: 20%
$30,000-$70,000: 19%
$70,000+: 8%
Decline to state: 19%

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