On July 16, Cape Fear Community College received some very goodÂ news regarding the quality of its overall operation from one of the nation’s regionalÂ accrediting bodies.
The college was notified that it passed a five year review required byÂ the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC, commonly referred to as SACS or the Commission on Colleges), the regionalÂ accreditingÂ body which monitors the quality ofÂ institutions of higher learningÂ all over the southeastern United States.
The review covers 17 different topics that include faculty and staffÂ qualifications, student support services, student achievement, academic programs, facilities and others.Â The review also evaluated progress of a college-wide initiative to improve students critical thinking skills.
The Commission on CollegesÂ requires the report toÂ ensure member institutions are continuing theirÂ compliance withÂ selectedÂ standards of quality.Â InÂ 2007, CFCC earned a flawless score on the decennial review, receiving zero recommendations from theÂ on-site committee and was reaffirmed for accreditationÂ by the Board of Trustees without additional followup, which is a rare achievement in higher education accreditation.
Approximately every ten years following initial accreditation,Â eachÂ college that is a member of the CommissionÂ 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 byÂ the SACS Board of Trustees.Â The purpose of the review isÂ 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 anÂ accredited school has more value to employers than a degree from a non-accredited institution.Â 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: