By Taniya Harwell |Staff Writer|
San Bernardino Community College District (SBCCD) announced on Tuesday that San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) and Crafton Hills College have both been placed on “warning status” after their accreditation review.
Gloria Fisher, SBVC’s president, has been sent back to school due to her lack of credentials in conjunction to the accreditation review.
As part of the multi-year accreditation site visit and reporting cycle, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) reviewed the Institutional Self Evaluational Reports for both colleges.
Concerns raised for both institutions include the lack of student learning outcome assessments, updates to the distance education plans, and publishing course catalogs in a timely manner to ensure student success.
SBCCD Chancellor Bruce Baron urges students not to worry about their academic status and said, “We’re fully accredited and there’s a long process before a college would lose accreditation,” according to the Press-Enterprise.
Both colleges now have until March 2016 to submit a follow-up report proving they have addressed the issues outlined in their review.
The ACCJC has also sided with a third-party complaint stating that Fisher does not have the required degrees to fulfill her position and has ruled that she will have to return to school and receive the necessary credentials to keep her position.
After the ruling, Fisher has committed to returning to school to obtain the degree necessary to fulfill her duties as president.
In order to be a community college instructor in California, the candidate must have a master’s degree in the area they’re teaching or a bachelor’s degree in that area and a master’s degree in a “reasonably related” discipline.
Administrators are required to have a master’s degree in any discipline and a year of formal training, internship or experience “reasonably related” to the assignment in question, according to the commissions website, theaccjc.org/for-the-public.
Fisher served 18 months as interim president before being appointed to president this past November.
Fisher has worked for the college since 1991, starting off as a professor in the criminal justice department.
She is known to refer to herself as “doctor” Gloria Fisher.
However, a dean at her law school said the use of this title is inappropriate.
Fisher has no academic Doctoral or bachelor’s degree.
Fisher received a Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from San Joaquin College of Law in Clovis in 1986 but is not on record with the State Bar of California.
The California Community College Chancellor’s office determined a J.D. degree is equivalent to a Master’s degree.
When Fisher received her degree, San Joaquin College of Law in Clovis was only accredited by the California State Bar Association, an arrangement that today would not be sufficient to meet the standards of either the ACCJC or California Community Colleges, according to the Press-Enterprise.
The appointment of Fisher has been a controversial topic on the SBVC campus.
Some students believe Fisher has learned enough from being a long-time faculty member that a degree does not matter.
“Is she efficient? What is her skill set? Is she professional?” said SBVC student Armando Hernandez.
“The criteria for all administrators should have to be equal, it is fair,” said an anonymous member of SBVC’s student government.
The status of Fisher’s academic standing was not taken into consideration by the accreditation board.