SACSCOC On-Site Visit

Savannah Technical College On-Site Visit October 18-20, 2016

Four Key Areas:

  1. College Mission
  2. Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
  3. Institutional Effectiveness
  4. Compliance Certification Form (key areas to review)
  • CR 2.7.3 General Education
  • CR 2.8 Faculty
  • CR 2.10 Student Support Services
  • CS 3.2.8 Qualified Administrative/Academic Officers
  • CS Institutional Effectiveness – Educational Programs
  • CS 3.4.3 Admission Policies
  • CS 3.4.11 Academic Program Coordination
  • CS 3.10.2 Financial Aid Audits
  • CS 3.11.3 Physical Facilities
  • CS 3.13.3 Policy Compliance
  • All Federal Requirements (FR 4.1  FR 4.9)

College Mission

Savannah Technical College has a clearly defined, comprehensive, and published mission statement that is specific to the institution and appropriate for higher education. The mission addresses teaching and learning and, where applicable, research and public service (CR2.4).

Clearly Defined, Comprehensive, Published Statement
Savannah Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, is a public, two-year college that provides world class education, skills training and lifelong learning opportunities through the delivery of associate degrees, diplomas, technical certificates of credit and non-credit economic development programs and adult education. The college is committed to meeting the dynamic education, academic, and workforce development needs of the individuals, employers and communities throughout the Coastal Empire with market-driven, environmentally-conscious education offered in the classroom, laboratory, community, and online.

The mission statement clearly informs the public that the college’s mission is workforce development, which serves the needs of the individuals attending the college, the employers who hire our graduates or use our noncredit economic development/contract training programs, and the community members who benefit from our continuing education and adult education programs.

The statement is comprehensive in that it addresses the college’s commitment to all stakeholders – individual students, the employers who hire our graduates or use our industry-specific non-credit programs, and the community members who may need assistance provided through our Adult Education/GED preparation programs or continuing education courses. Whether STC is teaching someone to read in Adult Education, assisting a recently transitioned veteran to pass an industry-specific licensure exam, or graduating students from the associate of science in Dental Hygiene – all are forms of workforce development. The mission statement is published in the college catalog, on the college website, and various other internal documents.

Specific to the Institution
Savannah Technical College is one of twenty-two technical colleges within the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). It is a public, two-year college with two locations in Chatham County, one location in Effingham County, and a fourth location in Liberty County. This area of the State of Georgia is commonly referred to as the Coastal Empire.

Appropriate to Higher Education
The mission statement is appropriate to higher education in that it informs stakeholders that the college delivers higher education credentials consisting of associate degrees.
Teaching and Learning

The mission statement states the college’s commitment to individuals (students who are learning) and how the college is delivering programs to individuals with market-driven, environmentally-conscious education offered in the classroom, laboratory, community and distance education (teaching and delivery modes).

Research and Public Service
The college does not engage in research and research is not a part of the college mission or mission statement.

The college is very active in public service as can be found in Comprehensive Standard, Community/Public Service. The college is involved with, and committed to, a multitude of community organizations and purposes and the college is engaged with these partners at various levels of participation; examples include Economic Development initiatives directly resulting in workforce development, Adult Education programs, faculty and staff community engagement and student involvement.

Question to Consider:
How does your program/dept./office/position support and reinforce the mission of Savannah Technical College?

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

Savannah Technical College is developing an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that includes an institutional process for identifying key issues emerging from institutional assessment and focuses on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning and accomplishing the mission of the institution (CR 2.12). The QEP demonstrates institutional capability for the initiation, implementation, and completion of the QEP; includes broad-based involvement of institutional constituencies in the development and proposed
implementation of the QEP; and identifies goals and a plan to assess their achievement (CS 3.3.2).

Process for Identifying Key Issues
The Quality Enhancement Plan was developed by the QEP Leadership team comprised of representatives from faculty, staff, and administrators. The topic was identified through a series of meetings, surveys, and focus groups.

Topic of the QEP
The role of the development of critical thinking in relationship to critical employability skills (soft skills)

The purpose of the QEP is to transform Savannah Technical College’s current work ethics grading model. This transformation shifts the focus to a learning outcomes approach based on the idea the employable habits and behaviors can be achieved through thinking more critically, which informs the employability skills and behaviors.

Questions to Consider:

  • How did you or your department contribute to the development of the topic and comprehensive planning for the QEP?
  • How will the QEP benefit the students in your program/dept./division?
  • What will you do to implement the plan in your program/dept./division?

Institutional Effectiveness

The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that incorporate a systematic review of institutional mission, goals, and outcomes; result in continuing improvement in institutional quality; and demonstrate the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission (CR 2.5).

Savannah Technical College’s planning and evaluation process includes integrated assessment, planning, monitoring, and budgeting across all programs and services. Planning is linked to local, state, and federal accountability and is comprehensive, encompassing all institutional academic, administrative, and education support functions.

Annual unit planning and assessment involves:

  • Developing purpose statement and objectives to support the college’s mission and goals
  • Collecting, analyzing, and using results to assess whether the goals and objectives are being met
  • Providing evidence of improvement based on the assessment

College-wide assessment occurs annually through the Performance Accountability System (PAS) and every three to six years through the Performance Accountability Review (PAR). The PAS and PAR processes assess the college’s adherence to TCSG state standards, policies, and benchmarks for enrollment, graduation, and placement by program. In addition, a separate component of this review documents that the college responsibly manages the Federal Carl Perkins funds received each year.

Major components of the planning and assessment processes include:

  • College Annual Plans: Divisional/Unit Plans/Reviews; Program Reviews
  • Master Facilities Plan
  • Perkins Plan
  • Technology Plan
  • Complete College Georgia Plan
  • Maintenance/Safety Plan
  • Achieving the Dream Plan
  • Capital Outlay Plan (to include Major Repairs and Renovation, Obsolete Equipment, Capital Budget, and Operational Budget
  • End of the Year and Use of Assessment Results to include Internal/External Analysis and the Five-Year Strategic Plan Review

Questions to Consider:

  • How do you participate in planning and assessment? Which plans do you contribute information
    or create?
  • Can your dept./program/division provide examples of evidence of improvement based on

Compliance Certification Form

To be accredited by SACSCOC, an institution is required to conduct a comprehensive compliance audit prior to the filing of the Compliance Certification. The comprehensive compliance audit includes an assessment of all programs and courses offered by the institution on-campus and off-campus, and those offered through distance learning. The Compliance Certification Form is signed by the institution’s chief executive officer (President) and accreditation liaison, whose signatures attest to the institution’s honest assessment of compliance with the accreditation requirements of the Commission on Colleges (including Core Requirements, Comprehensive Standards, and Federal Requirements) as applied to all aspects of the institution.

The Compliance Certification consists of four parts:

  • Part 1: Signature Page for the institutions’ chief executive officer and the accreditation liaison
  • Part 2: List of all substantive changes that have been reported and approved by the Commission since the institution’s last reaffirmation as well as the date of approval (STC was last reaffirmed in 2007)
  • Part 3: The institution’s assessment of compliance with the Principles of Accreditation
  • Part 4: An attached and updated “Institutional Summary Form Prepared for Commission Reviews” that lists all locations where coursework toward a degree, certificate, or diploma can be obtained primarily through traditional classroom instruction and describes distance education credit offerings that can be obtained primarily through electronic means

STC wrote narratives for 16 Core Requirements, 57 Comprehensive Standards, and 11 Federal Requirements, with a total of 1,591 links to supporting documents. The On-site Reaffirmation Committee will review the Offsite Reaffirmation Committee report, plus conducts an independent review of the following areas:

  • CR 2.7.3 General Education
  • CR 2.8 Faculty
  • CR 2.10 Student Support Services
  • CS 3.2.8 Qualified Administrative/Academic Officers
  • CS Institutional Effectiveness – Educational Programs
  • CS 3.4.3 Admission Policies
  • CS 3.4.11 Academic Program Coordination
  • CS 3.10.2 Financial Aid Audits
  • CS 3.11.3 Physical Facilities
  • CS 3.13.3 Policy Compliance
  • All Federal Requirements (FR 4.1  FR 4.9)

A copy of the Compliance Certification Form can be found on Sharepoint under Academic Affairs/Institutional Effectiveness in the SACSCOC folder for Reaffirmation. A review of the above narratives would be recommended to be prepared for any questions from the On-site Reaffirmation Committee.

Questions to Consider:

  • What narratives pertain to your division/dept./program?
  • What role do you have with the narratives that pertain to your division/dept./program?