After years under scrutiny, the Peralta Community College District's four colleges in Alameda, Berkeley and Oakland have cleared themselves from their accreditor's watchlist.
The district -- dinged since 2010 for accounting, budgeting and governance problems -- showed enough progress that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges removed its colleges from warning status.
"We've righted the ship and are doing the right thing for students," said Peralta Chancellor Jose M. Ortiz, who has led the Oakland-based district for a year.
Earlier this month, the commission made public its latest decisions about dozens of institutions in California. Its most serious action was to strip the financially troubled City College of San Francisco of its accreditation, putting the institution's future into doubt. California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris is expected to appoint a special trustee to oversee the San Francisco college as it appeals the decision.
Peralta's colleges -- Berkeley City College, the College of Alameda, Merritt College and Laney College -- were not under immediate threat of such an outcome. But problems such as not accounting for long-term employee health benefits have since been fixed, Ortiz said.
In addition to the procedural fixes, the district showed it had restored more than 200 course sections lost during the budget crisis, largely because of a local parcel tax voters approved last June.
"We showed the commission that we were turning it around, here at Peralta," Ortiz said.
The commission also reaffirmed the accreditation of Gavilan College in Gilroy.
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