SACS is the acronym for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. SACS is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States and the accrediting body for eleven Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia) and Latin America. You may visit the SACS home page at http://www.sacscoc.org/ for more information.
Accreditation by the Commission on Colleges signifies that the institution (1) has a mission appropriate to higher education, (2) has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, and (3) maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers and that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives.
From Handbook for Institutions Seeking Reaffirmation
SACS accredits educational institutions at all levels from early childhood centers through graduate-degree granting universities.
The Commission on Colleges, one of three SACS units, is responsible for the accreditation of public and private colleges and universities as well as two-year colleges. It is comprised of approximately 1,200 colleges and universities.
The accrediting standards used by the Commission on Colleges are contained in the handbook Principles of Accreditation.
There are 2 major tasks:
- Compliance Certification: Document, in great detail, that CPCC is in compliance with the approximately 90 standards in the Principles of Accreditation. This is called the Compliance Certification Report.
- Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): Select and develop a major improvement project which addresses student learning and success.
In one sense, the entire CPCC community is involved in reaffirmation since everyone is needed to complete such a vast and important endeavor. SACS principles also make it clear that broad-based involvement and input is needed for reaffirmation to occur. However, the effort leading up to reaffirmation of our accreditation by SACS is being led by two groups: the Compliance Certification Team and the .
Accreditation ensures that the College
- has a mission appropriate to higher education;
- has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission;
- maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission, appropriate to the degrees it offers, and that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives;
- allows faculty to apply for federal grants, and
- ensures that students have creditable coursework when they leave the College.
Accreditation ensures that
- students have access to federally-subsidized financial aid;
- courses and degrees will be recognized by other institutions; and
- programs and courses at the institution are creditable and of good quality, making them more competitive to employers.
Yes, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredited CPCC in 2003. The College is now seeking reaffirmation of our accreditation for 2014.
SACS requires that an institution undergo reaccreditation every ten years. CPCC’s accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2003; however, SACSCOC asked to postpone CPCC’s next accreditation. Thus, we are scheduled for another review in 2014.
QEP stands for Quality Enhancement Plan, which is a five-year improvement project, identified through an institution-wide process that focuses on improving student learning outcomes.
About 15 people from community colleges in the Southeast will visit CPCC to examine all aspects of its operations.
There are actually two reviews:
- The Off-site review of the Compliance Certification Report takes place May 7-9, 2013.
- A Visiting Committee will be on campus September 24-26, 2013.
To find out more about reaccreditation in general, visit the SACSCOC website: http://www.sacscoc.org/faqs.asp
If you have questions about reaccreditation at CPCC, contact SACS Accreditation Liaison Dr. Cathey Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.