FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1. What is SACS?

2. What does SACS do?

3. What is the COC?

4. What are the accrediting standards used by the COC?

5. What must a college do to be reaccredited?

6. Who is involved in the process?

7. Why is accreditation important to faculty?

8. Why is accreditation important to students?

9. Is CPCC accredited?

10. Is accreditation permanent?

11. What is the QEP?

12. What is CPCC’s QEP topic?

13. What is the SACS Visiting Committee?

14. When does the review of CPCC take place?

15. How do I find out more information about reaccreditation?

16. Who do I contact for questions about reaccreditation at CPCC?


1. What is SACS?

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

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2. What does SACS do?

SACS accredits educational institutions at all levels from early childhood centers through graduate-degree granting universities.

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3. What is the COC?

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.

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4. What are the accrediting standards used by the COC?

The accrediting standards used by the Commission on Colleges are contained in the handbook Principles of Accreditation.

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5. What must a college do to be reaccredited?

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.

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6. Who is involved in the process?

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 QEP Development Committee.

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7. Why is accreditation important to faculty?

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.

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8. Why is accreditation important to students?

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.

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9. Is CPCC accredited?

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.

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10. Is accreditation permanent?

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.

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11. What is the QEP?

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.

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12. What is CPCC’s QEP topic?

CPCC’s goal with the QEP is to aid in the success of first-year, full-time curriculum students. Read more about the QEP...

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13. What is the SACS Visiting Committee?

About 15 people from community colleges in the Southeast will visit CPCC to examine all aspects of its operations.

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14. When does the review of CPCC take place?

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.

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15. How do I find out more information about reaccreditation?

To find out more about reaccreditation in general, visit the SACSCOC website: http://www.sacscoc.org/faqs.asp

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16. Who do I contact for questions about reaccreditation at CPCC?

If you have questions about reaccreditation at CPCC, contact SACS Accreditation Liaison Dr. Cathey Ross at cathey.ross@cpcc.edu.

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