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Mar 18, 2013 9:00 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Students fear potential fallout from scathing report on Pima Community College

TUCSON - Pima Community College students are fearful of the fallout of a scathing report that slams the college, putting it at risk of probation and the possibility of losing its accreditation.

The report was issued by the Higher Learning Commission, detailing some daunting charges for the college, which include: alleged sexual harassment, bullying of employees and unethical hiring practices.

The commission recommended PCC be put on probation for a period of two years, in a letter to the Interm Chancellor of PCC, Dr. Suzanne Miles.

Alexis Lopez, a freshman at PCC, takes advantage of the services the college offers in hopes of transferring to a university one day. She fears the talk about accreditation revokation.

"That does scare me a little because what happens if while I'm doing my gen eds here... do I still get credit for that? Would I still be able to transfer to a university or how does that work?" Lopez said.

That's a sentiment echoed by Brandon Russell, who is also a freshman and couldn't imagine if accreditation was at risk.

"It definitely worries me... I guess that would mean I would have to look at getting some of the gen eds out of the way at the U of A I'm assuming instead of here which definitely makes it more difficult financially ... especially for other people too," Russell said.

However, officials with PCC hope to dispell some of the concern.

"The loss of accreditation is the worst case scenario, that we don't foresee happening at this point," said C.J. Karamargin, Vice Chancellor of Public Information at PCC.

Karamargin said the college plans on putting together a letter to refute some of the false statements in the report in the hopes of avoiding probation and consequentially losing accreditation.

PCC will do everything in its power to avoid any fallout harming students and the community, Karamargin said.

"It's understandable that people are paying attention to what happened here and want this institutIon to be as good as it can be," Karamargin said.

The Board of Trustees will meet in early April to decide whether to put PCC on probation or not.

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