September 27, 2023

ACCJC Team Delivers "No Recommendations" (Best Possible Outcome!) re. SMC's Accreditation | What's Next . . .

Dear SMC Colleagues:

This morning, the ACCJC (Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges) members of the visiting team assigned to Santa Monica College—Dr. Keith Flamer, Superintendent/President College of the Redwoods (Chair); Dr. David Wain Coon, Superintendent/President College of Marin (Vice Chair); and Dr. Margarita Pillado, Professor of Modern Languages Los Angeles Pierce College (Team Member)—addressed the SMC community, delivering the closing remarks that marked the culmination of their two-day in-person visit. This means that SMC’s accreditation review process is very near the finish line, pending receipt of the final written team report and the decision of ACCJC in February 2024.

After reviewing the college’s self-study (read “Institutional Self-Evaluation Report, Fall 2022”), evidence provided, and response to the one core inquiry identified, Team Chair Dr. Flamer delivered the resoundingly positive news that there were no recommendations, the best possible outcome for Santa Monica College! Congratulations to all of us!

Special acknowledgment is due to SMC's Accreditation Leadership Team led by Dr. Dione Carter Hodges (Accreditation Liaison Officer and Dean of Academic Affairs), with terrific leadership support from Dr. Jamar London (Math Professor & Academic Senate President), Mitch Heskel (Dean of Education Enterprise), George Davison (English Professor), Standard Co-Chairs and Substandard Co-Chairs, Warren Cancilla (Lead Reprographics Technician), and many others who contributed to the process. Thank you also to Jerome Bruce for facilitating the visiting team’s transportation from arrival at the airport to departure, including a tour of SMC locations. Regretfully, the schedule did not allow for travel to the SMC Malibu campus. My deepest gratitude to each of these colleagues!

Finalization of the official report and ACCJC’s review of that report are the next formal steps. SMC can expect to receive the final, official outcome from ACCJC by the end of February 2024. Following are the next steps in SMC’s accreditation process:

  • The final report from the visiting team will be sent in writing to me and Dr. Hodges in late October or November 2023
  • The next midterm report is due four years from fall 2023
  • The Quality Focused Essay (QFE)—which identifies two or three quality focus projects that the institution will implement with the goal of innovating to improve student learning and achievement—is for the college only; the QFE is no longer required by the ACCJC, and the college is encouraged to continue the work. See page 268 of the Institutional Self-Evaluation Report, Fall 2022 to read SMC’s Quality Focus Essay – PDF
  • Going forward and as part of a newly-unveiled process, ACCJC will be transitioning colleges from a six-year cycle to an eight-year accreditation cycle. There are only 30 new ACCJC standards. Visit for more information
  • For more information on all this and more, visit SMC’s accreditation webpage:

Thank you to those who tuned in or showed up in person to participate in yesterday’s open forum and today’s closing remarks. Once the final, official report is received from the Commission, we will share that with the SMC community. Today’s good news is a resounding confirmation of the dedicated work that takes place at Santa Monica College, by those who believe wholeheartedly in the college’s mission. Congratulations, again, to each one of us!

Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.