The college, which faces anPounds 8 million cash crisis after sacking its principal and deputy over allegations of bullying, and running a pub while on sick leave, was awarded a grade five for governance and management.
The grade is reserved for the very worst practice. But college managers pointed to the fact that most of Stoke's other work was given grade two or three.
Chairman of the corporation Kevin Farrell said: "There are many positive aspects to the inspection report. There is a great deal of sound practice in the college which continues to provide excellent opportunities for our students."
Newly-appointed principal Graham Moore added: "I am looking forward to working with the staff and all our partners to ensure that the college builds on the strengths for the benefit of education and training in north Staffordshire. We all want to be proud of the college and the successes of our students."