Frequently Asked Questions about the SACSCOC Reaffirmation of Accreditation
- What is SACSCOC?
- What is reaffirmation of accreditation?
- What are the steps in the process?
- What is a QEP?
- What can you expect during the site visit?
- When will the On-Site Peer Review Committee be here?
- Who are the members of the On-Site Peer Review Committee?
- Who are the members of the PRCC SACSCOC Leadership Team?
Q: What is SACSCOC?
A: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees. For more information, see http://www.sacscoc.org/.
Q: What is reaffirmation of accreditation?
A: Every 10 years, institutions accredited by SACSCOC undergo an intensive self-study, followed by a thorough review by peers, to determine their compliance with SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation. These standards serve to ensure accountability and quality in all aspects of the institution. For more information, see the Principles of Accreditation at http://www.sacscoc.org/principles.asp.
Q: What are the steps in the process?
A: The reaffirmation process, which Pearl River Community College has been undergoing, allows an institution to study itself. Through a variety of broad-based campus committees, the College has documented its compliance with each of the core requirements, comprehensive standards, and federal requirements outlined in the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation. The resulting document has been extensively reviewed by an off-site committee of peer educators. Based on their feedback, PRCC submitted a Focused Report in September, providing additional documentation and details.
The next step will be an October 27-29 on-site visit from a team of peer educators, who will examine data and interview a variety of individuals on campus to determine that PRCC is in compliance with all standards. The visit culminates with a campus presentation by the committee detailing their findings. While on campus, they also will complete a draft report.
Q: What is a QEP?
A: The Quality Enhancement Plan is an integral part of the accreditation process, emphasizing SACSCOC’s and the institution’s commitment to continuous improvement. The QEP addresses a single, specific issue that can help strengthen and improve student learning. The QEP will be the major focus of the site visit in October.
The PRCC QEP is “Passport to Success - First Year Experience,” a five-year effort that focuses on creating a first-year student experience that enriches the learning environment wherein students ENHANCE self-efficacy skills, ENGAGE with the college culture, and ESTABLISH academic goals. To learn more, see http://prcc.edu/qep.
Q: What can you expect during the site visit?
A: The on-site team will be very busy! They will have only two full days to review required areas of compliance. But they may ask questions of anyone on campus. To learn more about reaffirmation of accreditation in general and SACSCOC, see http://www.sacscoc.org/about.asp.
Q: When will the On-Site Peer Review Committee be here?
A: Our On-Site Peer Review Committee will be on campus October 27-29, 2015. Please be sure that you are available to assist the Committee during their visit to PRCC. Reviewers will interview members of the PRCC community, including students, staff, and administrators to resolve any questions remaining from the compliance certification, the Focused Report, and our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
Q: Who are the members of the On-Site Peer Review Committee?
A: The Chair of our On-Site Peer Review Committee is Dr. Jerry Faulkner, President at Volunteer State Community College. He will review our Compliance Certification, Focused Report, and Quality Enhancement Plan and provide expert advice to lead the On-Site Review Committee in their deliberations. Dr. Nuria Cuevas is the staff liaison for PRCC and is a Vice President at the Southern Accreditation of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. She will be working with Dr. Lewis and Dr. Seal to help review our documentation and prepare for a successful site visit.
Other members of the On-Site Review Committee include:
- Brad Garner (QEP Evaluator)
Director of Faculty Enrichment
Indiana Wesleyan University
- Dr. Diane M. Minger
Business/Management/Marketing Program Coordinator
Cedar Valley College
- Ms. Misty R. Rasmussen
Director, Institutional Effectiveness
Carteret Community College
- Dr. Jerry Faulkner
Volunteer State Community College
- Dr. Maxine B. Singleton (Retired)
Vice President of Instruction and Student Development
- Ms. Makena N. Stewart
Dean, Student Development
South Piedmont Community College
- Mrs. Virginia Lucas
Vice President of Finance and Auxiliary Services
Sampson Community College
- Dr. Adam Breerwood, President
- Dr. Jana Causey, Vice President for Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing Programs
- Mr. Roger Knight, Senior Vice President for College Operations
- Dr. Jennifer Seal, Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research
- Dr. Martha Lou Smith, Senior Vice President for Instruction/Provost
- Jeff Long, Vice President for Poplarville Campus and Student Services