This week, the West Hills Community College District received accreditation site visits from representatives of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

As a part of the process, the district held forums open to the public. Attendees were given the opportunity to meet and communicate with the ACCJC Evaluation team, which was made up of officials from other colleges.

At Tuesday’s open forum at the Lemoore campus, the evaluation team members began the meeting by introducing themselves and opening the floor to comments.

Staff, faculty and others in the community sang the praises of the college, describing it as a family environment. Several faculty members in the room were identified as having worked at the college for 10 years.

The evaluation team also asked the attendees if there were any areas that the district could improve upon.

Several faculty and community members offered comments, such as noting the limited physical space of the classrooms for the nursing program, as well as suggesting that the college expand its athletics offering.

Janessa Taylor and Airy Macias, who identified themselves as classified staff at the college, were in attendance at the forum to see what people would say at the meeting.

“I think it’s always good to give the public, administration, classified, staff, whatever you fall into, I think it’s good no matter what group you are a part of to have a voice,” Taylor said.

Darrien Menezes, secretary for the nursing department in health careers, agreed.

“I think it’s a good idea for [the evaluation team] to kind of get to know us better and the students and overall, I think it’s great,” she said.

For more information about the accreditation process, visit http://www.westhillscollege.com/district/about/accreditation.asp.

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