College News

CCCC gets clean SACS interim accreditation report

02.11.2014College & CommunityCollege GeneralFoundation

SANFORD - The regional accrediting agency for colleges and universities has given Central Carolina Community College a "thumbs-up" following an in-depth review of the quality of its programs and procedures.

CCCC's Fifth Year Interim (Reaffirmation) Report received no referrals or follow-ups from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Only 18 percent of SACS member institutions have received that high approval in recent years.

SACS is the regional accrediting body for degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. Its mission, through its Commission on Colleges, is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions, according to its website, www.sacs.org. If institutions are not SACS-accredited, other institutions and organizations can refuse to accept the validity of their programs and the degrees they confer.

"Fully 82 percent of institutions' Fifth Year reports have issues that must be addressed," said Linda Scuiletti, CCCC dean of Institutional Effectiveness, whose office created the college's Fifth Year Report. "That CCCC's report passed the SACSCOC review process with no referrals or follow-ups is remarkable."

SACS accredits institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, as well as some in Latin America and other international sites that award associate, baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degrees.

CCCC is required to meet the same stringent SACS standards as all undergraduate institutions, including the University of North Carolina, Duke University, N.C. State University, and others.

Every 10 years, the COC does a major accreditation review for member institutions. Each college and university is also required to submit a Fifth-Year Interim (Reaffirmation) Report. The COC reviews it and informs the institution if there are any issues that need correcting for continued accreditation.

CCCC's comprehensive Fifth-Year Interim Report included a college-wide reflection/self-evaluation that involved an in-depth examination of numerous data. Twenty-three administrators and instructors worked to develop detailed narratives addressing each of SACS' 19 accreditation principles.

The resulting FYIR included nearly 500 supporting documents, the college's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Impact Report, and more than 3,000 pages of Outcomes and Assessments reporting data from all curriculum programs and many service areas.

The FYIR is designed to be a learning experience for the institutions, Scuiletti said. The college saw the 18-month-long process of preparing for and assembling the report as a quality enhancement effort in itself.

"The SACSCOC review is all about demonstrating high quality, effectiveness and continuous improvement," she said. "Preparing the report resulted in many operational improvements."

Scuiletti noted that, as a result of preparing the FYIR, the college created new comprehensive resources for students, improved processes, updated policies, and increased emphasis on the use of assessment results and other data to plan improvements and inform decision making at all college levels to better serve students.

"Central Carolina Community College has been continuously accredited by SACS since 1972," said President Bud Marchant. "This and the fact that CCCC is among the 18 percent that came away from the fifth year review with no referrals or follow-ups says a great deal about this institution and its commitment to quality education. I am so proud of Linda and all of the faculty and staff who contributed to the Interim Report."

Marchant added that CCCC's going through the in-depth process of creating the Fifth Year Interim Report has had a positive impact that will carry forward.

"Now we are asking ourselves, 'How do we continue to improve?' he said. "Central Carolina Community College is energized to move forward, continuing to be the leading force for educational opportunities, economic progress, and cultural enrichment in the communities we serve."

For more information about Central Carolina Community College and its programs, visit www.cccc.edu.