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Update on plans to address HLC concerns

Communication sent to PCC students on May 15, 2013 by Provost Jerry Migler concerning plans to address HLC concerns.

As the Spring 2013 semester draws to a close, the time is right for another update on Pima's accreditation status. In my message of April 17, I explained that PCC has been placed on probation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Today, I am pleased to report that the College has already begun to respond to the concerns identified by the HLC.

Two key reports are due to the Higher Learning Commission. The first is a Monitoring Report. It is due to the HLC on August 1, 2013. In this report we must identify our plan to address Assumed Practices A.4 and B.2.c. A team has been assembled and is currently drafting the College’s response.

We are committed to developing the required plans meeting the deadline for submitting the report. You can read about the Monitoring Report writing team on a new website, Pima Addresses Probation, dedicated to informing the public and the College community about the activities PCC is undertaking to regain the HLC’s highest level of confidence.

The second report to be completed is an Institutional Self-Study, which is due in July 2014. Through this Self-Study, the College must address its response the HLC's findings that it was not in compliance with elements of two of its Criteria for Accreditation: Criteria Two, Component 2.A and Criterion Five, Core Components 5.B and 5.C.

The College must also provide evidence that it continues to comply with the HLC's other criteria. Planning for the Self-Study is underway, with the formation of 14 committees that will address all HLC criteria and expectations. Although planning and preliminary preparations for the Self-Study will continue through the summer, the vast majority of the work to be done will occur during the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters.

We welcome student participation on the Self-Study committees. While this will be time-consuming work that may typically involve one- to two-hour meetings weekly or twice a month, this is a great opportunity to learn about PCC and accreditation. If you are interested in serving as a committee member, please forward your name and contact information to my office by email at

Although I have shared this information in the past, it is an important to remember the following:

  • While on probation, PCC remains fully accredited by the HLC.
  • As an accredited college, PCC's ability to offer financial aid to our students will not be affected.
  • Also, as an accredited college, course transfer should not be affected. The University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University have assured us that transfer will continue as it always has for PCC students. (Read these assurances on the Accreditation page.) The message from the universities is that they will continue to welcome transfer students from PCC.
  • The quality of our instruction and programs is undiminished. The HLC has not identified any concerns with PCC academics or student services. We remain a great place to get a quality education at a reasonable price.

Lastly, let me offer my heartfelt congratulations to all our graduates. This year's graduating class is one for the record books – 3,756 candidates for graduation. At Thursday’s graduation ceremony at the Tucson Convention Center Arena, we expect to award 5,943 degrees and certificates. Reaching this milestone is not only a testament to your hard work, but an affirmation of the central role Pima plays in educating our community.

On behalf of Pima Community College, we hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Jerry Migler, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor