November 15, 2006
CFCC Earns Spotless Evaluation
WILMINGTON - If colleges got report cards, Cape Fear Community College would have straight A’s. That’s according to a recent review just completed by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Following a reaffirmation of accreditation review, the commission gave CFCC a spotless report - which is very rare among colleges.
“It’s very seldom that you have a report like this that has no recommendations,” said Dr. Jack Allen, a vice president on the Commission on Colleges.
For the college, receiving a report with zero recommendations for improvement is a strong indication that it is headed in the right direction.
“Having the commission tell us that we are doing a great job means a lot to everyone who has worked so hard to make sure we are doing our job the best that we can,” said CFCC President Eric McKeithan.
McKeithan added that this report also serves as a type of “seal of approval” to the community and taxpayers that fund the college.
“The review indicates that the resources entrusted to CFCC are being managed responsibly, effectively and efficiently,” he said.
The accreditation process is very similar to an audit, but it is much more thorough. The commission examines about 60 different aspects of the college, such as faculty competence, governance, student learning, planning and facilities.
During the three-day review of the college, the eleven-member committee interviewed faculty, staff and students, reviewed documents and inspected facilities.
Accreditation is very important to the college because it means credits students earn there will transfer to other colleges and universities. Students are able to receive federal financial aid and the college can receive funding, according to the community college.
CFCC faculty and staff spent two years preparing for the process, which included researching and writing reports and developing a plan to improve student learning.
In the months before the reaffirmation process began, the
college performed a thorough self- evaluation in preparation for the committee’s
visit. As part of the evaluation, the college was required to develop
a new educational priority known as a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
As the focus of CFCC’s QEP, the college chose to focus on improving
students’ critical thinking skills.