On July 16, Cape Fear Community College received some very good news regarding the quality of its overall operation from one of the nation’s regional accrediting bodies.
The college was notified that it passed a five year review required by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC, commonly referred to as SACS or the Commission on Colleges), the regional accrediting body which monitors the quality of institutions of higher learning all over the southeastern United States.
The review covers 17 different topics that include faculty and staff qualifications, student support services, student achievement, academic programs, facilities and others. The review also evaluated progress of a college-wide initiative to improve students critical thinking skills.
The Commission on Colleges requires the report to ensure member institutions are continuing their compliance with selected standards of quality. In 2007, CFCC earned a flawless score on the decennial review, receiving zero recommendations from the on-site committee and was reaffirmed for accreditation by the Board of Trustees without additional followup, which is a rare achievement in higher education accreditation.
Approximately every ten years following initial accreditation, each college that is a member of the Commission is required to undergo a comprehensive accreditation compliance review that begins with an internal review followed with a review by off-site and on-site committees made up of peer evaluators and a final review by the SACS Board of Trustees. The purpose of the review is to assess the college’s compliance with accreditation requirements that cover everything from cleanliness to financial health and from student learning outcomes to faculty and staff credentials.
CFCC President Dr. Ted Spring was pleased with the report and said that it was a strong indication that the college was performing well based on the a wide range of standards required of colleges and universities from all over the country.
“Being an accredited institution reassures the public and our students that our faculty and staff are maintaining the highest quality of education possible,” Dr. Spring said.
According to Kim Gant, CFCC Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, being accredited offers big benefits to students and graduates.
“Being accredited enables the college to offer federal and state financial aid to its students,” Gant said.
In addition, she explained that a graduate with a degree from an accredited school has more value to employers than a degree from a non-accredited institution. Students are typically only allowed to transfer credits from an accredited school and many graduate programs will only accept applicants with a degree from an accredited school.
The 17 standards evaluated for compliance during the Fifth Year Interim review can be viewed at: