Erie Community College is now on warning for the second time since 2012, putting it at risk of losing its accreditation. This comes months after the Middle States Commission on Higher Education found the college isn't up to par on two accreditation standards.
The Commission's findings revealed the way ECC assesses students doesn't comply with accreditation standards, and that the college's departments aren't showing proper planning.
Losing accreditation would mean students at ECC would lose access to federal financial aid opportunities that are provided to accredited institutions. Those opportunities are still available while the college is on warning, so administrators are now making sure the college complies with accreditation standards.
"We are now undergoing what it takes to fix it," Erie Community College President Dan Hocoy told WKBW. "And I'm confident we will fix it. But one possibility if we don't fix it is that we'll be put on probation, which is another level of severity. But at that point, we still wouldn't lose our accreditation."
ECC now has until September 1 to make sure it's adhering to the Middle States Commission's standards for accreditation. At that point, the Commission will determine whether ECC can prove three items:
First, that the college has organized, systematic and sustainable methods for testing students.
Second, that it has overall institutional effectiveness, and uses assessment information to improve the college's programs and services.
And third, that the college has taken steps to improve its finances.
This is the second time ECC has been on warning that it could lose its accreditation since 2012.