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Our Opinion: To IVC's credit

June 29, 2001

The six-year reaffirmation of accreditation at Imperial Valley College is a reaffirmation of what most of us already know — that IVC is doing a good job of educating its students and is one of our county's most vital institutions.

IVC provides low-cost higher education to thousands upon thousands of locals every year. Many of those attending the college are first-generation college students and first-generation Americans to whom IVC is a crucial link to a better life.

IVC is filled with instructors and other employees dedicated to helping students grow as scholars and people. It adds much to the culture and depth of our community and is a vital link to our future becoming better.

All of this is confirmed, either overtly or tacitly, by the accreditation reaffirmation.

The accreditation did come with the caveat that the college file an interim report no later than November 2002. The report will deal with how IVC is dealing with the recommendations made by the accreditation team.

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And the truth is IVC must get better. Anyone who has been on the campus much knows that while IVC has much good happening, the college is plagued at times by student indifference, stifling bureaucracy, lack of communication between the administration and staff and a general malaise.

Some of these problems are confirmed, either overtly or tacitly, in the 11 recommendations by the accreditation team.

IVC officials say they are trying to address the communication problem, but we have heard that for years and that problem does not seem to get much better. Talk is great, but those bottling up communication on the campus have to be willing to change. We are not sure they are.

Trust must improve from the top down for communication to become clearer and consistent. There may be more trust on the campus now than in recent years, but there still may not be enough.

But back to the good stuff at IVC, as highlighted in the report. The college was praised for its extended campuses in Brawley, Calexico and El Centro and for providing training for the international industrial community. It was lauded for its proper placement of students, its comprehensive programs and services and its supportive learning environment. It was applauded by the accreditation team for its sensitivity to the Mexican and Mexican-American cultures.

All those plaudits are well-earned. While IVC does have some shortcomings, the key to dealing with those issues is communication.

We are told that is getting better. We'll see.

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