community college


For decades, California’s public university system has been a model for the world, and its prestige has helped to create much of the state’s prosperity. More recently the system has been stumbling – a victim of constant budget cutting, chronic overcrowding, and administrative gridlock.

Jen Chien



City College of San Francisco has gotten something of a reprieve these last few weeks. First, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow tentatively ruled that the ACCJC – the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges – had violated the law when it moved to terminate the school’s accreditation in 2013. Then, last week, California’s Community College Board of Governors removed the commission’s monopoly on the accreditation of schools in the state.

Paul Fain is a reporter for the journal “Inside Higher Ed.” KALW's Jen Chien asked him what Judge Karnow’s ruling means for the school and the commission.


City College of San Francisco is now able to stay open for another two years while it meets accreditation standards, according to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

This is a relief for the college which has feared closure since last July, when the commission decided to terminate the college’s accreditation this coming July.

A starting place for former foster youth

Mar 17, 2014
Rachel Wong

Dejon Lewis was 11 years old when child protective services arrived to take him and his twin sister away from their mother, whom he says is a drug addict. But instead of giving themselves over to the state, the two children made a run for it. Lewis says they stayed with a family friend for a while, but eventually they turned themselves in, and that’s when he entered the foster care system. Since then, Lewis has bounced around a lot.

“It’s hard to live when you’re just living with strangers and strangers and strangers, and no relatives. But I know down the road that that wouldn’t last forever, so I had to figure out how to be more independent,” he says.

Jen Chien

For more information on off-campus CCSF supporters, click here.

“Open, Accredited, and Ready for You!” That’s what it says on the big electronic billboard at the entrance to City College’s main Ocean Avenue Campus. Despite ongoing troubles over the last year and a half, the school is still fully operational and remains fully accredited. Students crowd the walkways in between classes, and the atmosphere feels like any other busy college campus.

Jen Chien

City College of San Francisco serves over 85,000 students every year. The diversity of the student body reflects the vibrancy of the city. Here are just a few of those students' voices.

Click on the players above to listen.

Jen Chien

In recent years, all levels of California’s public education system have been suffering from continuing budget cuts. City College of San Francisco, California’s largest community college has not been immune to these troubles. But right now it's facing an even bigger challenge, as the school fights to maintain its accreditation.  KALW Education reporter Jen Chien spoke with Ben Trefny about the situation.

Popular California community college, Santa Monica College, recently decided to start offering more sections of its most popular classes during the summer for five times the amount they normally cost, according to the Atlantic. The reason the tuition is so high is because these sections are not subsidized by the state.