Following are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Reaffirmation of Accreditation process.
Simply put, accreditation assures ACC students and the community at large that the College is a trusted provider of the education students need to succeed. Accreditation affirms that ACC meets specified standards in faculty credentials, curriculum, institutional mission, governance and effectiveness, student learning outcomes, student services, libraries, and financial stability.
SACSCOC stands for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes SACSCOC as the authority for accrediting institutions of higher education that award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees throughout the Southeast. It is the largest accrediting agency in the U.S.
SACSCOC member institutions vote on policies and agree to adhere to those policies. SACSCOC accredits an entire institution and its programs and services, wherever they are located or however those services are delivered.
SACSCOC evaluates ACC’s adherence to some 76 principles in 14 sections. Each section addresses areas such as the mission, governing board, faculty, student achievement, library and learning/information resources, and academic and student support services. In all areas, SACSCOC looks for quality programs that are supported by measurable strategies and goals.
Generally, the reaffirmation process is a three-pronged effort driven by ACC’ s leadership team, a compliance certification team, and a QEP implementation team. These committees will collect information from virtually every department at the College.
Like the Off-Site Review Committee, the On-Site Review Committee comprises a group of professional peers who examine the school’s mission, policies, procedures, programs, resources, and services against SACSCOC standards. The On-Site Committee will visit with members of ACC’s staff, faculty, leadership team, and Board of Trustees, typically over a three-day period. The On-Site Committee then reports its findings, including its assessment of the QEP. This report provides the basis on which the Commission decides to reaffirm or withdraw accreditation, while helping ACC improve its programs and refine its QEP.