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SACSCOC Reaffirmation 2017

Savannah Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which requires a reaffirmation process every ten years. SACSCOC is the regional accrediting body of degree-granting higher education institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Latin America. The mission of SACSCOC is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions.

To be accredited and reaffirmed, the college must demonstrate compliance with the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement. A major component of the reaffirmation process is the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Reaffirmation of accreditation by the Commission on Colleges involves extensive evaluation of compliance by off-site peer review, an onsite review, and review by the Commission’s Board of Trustees. For more information about SACSCOC, please see www.sacscoc.org.

STC Reaffirmation 2017 Leadership Team

  • Dr. Kathy Love, President
  • Dr. Ken Boyd, Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Ms. Terrie Sellers, Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Ms. Sue Turner, Vice President, Administrative Services
  • Dr. Vic Burke, Vice President, Operations and Technology
  • Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, Dean, Curriculum and Special Projects; SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison
  • Mr. Brendan Ferrara, Dean, Business and Technology; QEP
  • Mr. Brent Stubbs, Dean, General Studies, QEP

STC Reaffirmation 2017 Project Timeline

 June – August 2016 Focused Report prepared for submission
 August 2016 Focused Report and QEP submitted
 October 18-20, 2016 On-Site Visit
 June 2017 SACSCOC Board of Trustees Review and Determination for Reaffirmation

Successful reaffirmation provides support of essential College functions, including:

  • Access to federal financial aid, grants and other federal support
  • Ability to transfer credit hours to other schools
  • Eligibility for professional licensing of some students
  • Demonstration of institutional effectiveness

The Principles of Accreditation may be found on the SACSCOC website.

Components of the Reaffirmation Process – Documentation

  • Compliance Certification
  • QEP
  • Institutional Summary Form Prepared for Commission Reviews
  • Organizational Charts
  • Signature Page Attesting to Integrity of the Document (Compliance)
  • Focused Report

Compliance Certification
The Compliance Certification document is completed by the college that demonstrates its judgment of the extent of compliance with the Core Requirements, Comprehensive Standards, and Federal Requirements.

Core Requirements are basic, broad-based, foundational requirements that an institution must meet to be accredited with SACSCOC.

  •  Includes all campus locations and distance learning courses
  • If the core requirement mandates a policy or procedure, the expectation is that there is an approved policy or procedure in writing that is accessible to those who are affected by the policy; implemented and enforced by the institution.

Comprehensive Standards are specific to the operations of an institution, represent good practice in higher education, and establish a level of accomplishment expected of all member institutions. The four key areas are:

  • Institutional Mission, Governance, and Effectiveness
  • Educational Programs
  • Resources
  • Institutional Responsibility for Commission policies

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a course of action designed to focus on a topic or issue that is related to enhancing student learning and/or the environment supporting student learning while sustaining the mission of the college. The QEP is an opportunity to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness. Savannah Technical College has selected critical thinking and employability skills as the topic for the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan.

Institutional Summary Form Prepared for Commission Reviews provides evaluators and Commission staff a list of educational programs and degrees offered, identification of governance control, a brief history and institutional characteristics, a list of off-campus sites and distance learning modalities, accreditation status with other agencies and the institution’s relationship with the Department of Education.

Organizational charts are presented to ensure that a college has a clearly defined and published organizational structure that delineates responsibility for the administration of policies (CS 3.2.7).

Signature Page Attesting to Integrity of the Document (Compliance) Institutional integrity is the foundation of the relationship between Savannah Technical College and SACSCOC. The signature page is signed by the Chief Executive Officer (President) and the Accreditation Liaison and is confirmation that the college is acting with integrity and accuracy with all submissions for the Compliance Certification.

Focused Report is additional information and documentation that is submitted to further define evidence of compliance with a standard or requirement. The focused report is prepared to be reviewed by the On-site Reaffirmation Committee.

Components of the Reaffirmation Process – Review Committees

The reaffirmation process includes three sets of evaluators:

  • Off-site Reaffirmation Committee is tasked with the role making a determination of compliance for each of the standards that are addressed in the Compliance Certification. The majority of the review is done remotely; however, the committee does come together to confirm consensus on the preliminary findings for each standard. All of the findings of this committee are based solely on the documentation that is submitted for the Compliance Certification.
  • On-site Reaffirmation Committee reviews and evaluates the college’s mission, policies, procedures, programs, resources, services, and other activities as they support compliance. In addition, they review the Quality Enhancement Plan, conduct interviews with key personnel, visit off-campus sites, and review any third-party comments that may have been submitted to the Commission on Colleges prior to the on-site visit.
  • SACSCOC Board of Trustees make the final determination for reaffirmation based upon a review of the reports, the recommendation of the Reaffirmation Committees, and the QEP report that is submitted by the college. The SACSCOC Board of Trustees will meet sometime in June 2017 to make the recommendation forreaffirmation.

Sources for the above information include: