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Friday, November 30, 2018

ACC Seeks Accreditation Reaffirmation

The foundation of any institute of higher education is accreditation. Accreditation reaffirmation helps provide colleges and their programs with standardization and proof of academic integrity.

Alvin Community College has created 14 committees of faculty and staff members for the accreditation reaffirmation process which will include a site visit in 2020 from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

“Accreditation is extremely important as it affirms a college’s commitment to providing quality programs and services to the communities it serves,” ACC President Dr. Christal M. Albrecht said.

Reaffirmation occurs every 10 years. It includes the reporting of all major changes to the college (such as the offering of new programs or degrees); the submission of a Compliance Report that covers all aspects of the college's instructional and support functions; a Focused Report addressing concerns raised by the Compliance Report; a four-day, intensive site visit and finally the submission of a Response Report in which the college outlines any final adjustments suggested by the visiting committee.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is one of the major accrediting bodies in the United States, and is responsible for 11 states in the South and Southeast.

“SACSCOC is a regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, provides assurance to the public that its accredited institutions of higher learning are committed to ongoing quality, integrity, and the provision of effective programs and services,” said Dr. Cynthia Griffith, ACC Vice President of Instruction. Based upon the principles of continuous improvement, colleges and universities utilize rigorous internal and external review processes to evaluate themselves against a common set of accreditation standards.”

ACC has been accredited by SACS since 1959, and looks forward to continuing in its role as a provider of education to the community. The college’s accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2012.

The reaffirmation process involves several phases including institutional preparation and creation of a Compliance Certification report with evidentiary documents; development of a five year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and a review of the Compliance Certification report by an Off-Site Reaffirmation Committee consisting of peer evaluators.

Reaffirmation will also involve a campus visit and review by an On-Site Reaffirmation Committee of peer evaluators; a review of the On-Site Committee findings, QEP, and institutional responses by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees; and a reaffirmation decision or request for further action by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees.

The reaffirmation timeline from initial preparation to final consideration and action by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees will be approximately three years.     

“When accreditation is awarded by SACSCOC, it means that an institution has an appropriate mission, resources, programs, and services necessary to accomplish and sustain the mission,” Griffith said. “It also means educational objectives are consistent with the mission and appropriate to degrees offered along with successfully assessing achievement of the objectives and demonstrated improvements.”

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