Assemblymember Phil Ting: City College is still open

In July, we learned that a year-long effort by City College of San Francisco (CCSF) to correct several troubling financial and administrative problems failed to satisfy an independent agency responsible for accrediting the college. On July 3, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) announced its decision to revoke CCSF's accreditation in one year - on July 31, 2014.

This unfortunate, and I believe unfair, decision will be appealed by City College. While the appeal is pending, a special trustee appointed by the Board of Governors of the California Community College system will oversee the work that needs to be done to win the appeal and convince the accrediting agency that CCSF deserves to stay open. I, along with other legislators, community leaders and stakeholders involved with the college, will be doing all that can be done during this crucial year to make sure CCSF makes the improvements needed to keep its accreditation.

In the meantime, it is vitally important that everyone understand that CCSF remains accredited in the school year beginning this fall, and students can expect to experience the same excellent classes they have always taken at the college.

Make no mistake - the accreditation controversy has never been about the quality of education students receive at CCSF. Classes that were previously accepted for credit at a California State University, the University of California or other colleges will continue to be accepted if they're taken in the 2013-14 school year - just like they have been in the past.

City College is one of the largest community colleges in the nation - with an enrollment of more than 85,000 students. Many of us are personally connected to the college. In fact, half of all San Franciscans have a direct connection to the college - by either attending courses there or having family members or friends who do so. City College also stands out because it offers access and affordability to higher education to people who otherwise would have none - such as those who are learning English, and those who are economically disadvantaged. It is a bridge to a bright future for thousands of people every year, who get the knowledge and skills they need to earn a college degree or get a decent-paying job and have a shot at the California Dream.

As CCSF faces this unprecedented challenge in the weeks and months ahead, please make sure your friends and family members understand that the 2013-14 school year is on track, and classes will be offered as usual, and credit for those classes will be given as it has been in prior years.

To find out the details of how to enroll in classes at CCSF for the fall semester, go to the website at student-services/admissions-and-registration/registration.

Registration for new and continuing and re-admitted students runs until Aug. 12. In person registration takes place from Aug. 5 - 12.

It won't be easy, but working together, we will save City College because it is too important to fail.

Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting represents San Francisco's 19th Assembly District. He is chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus and the Select Committee on Asia/ California Trade and Investment Promotion. For more information, go to the website at