Dean discusses SACS process with ACC regents
Alvin Community College Dean of Academic Programs Dr. Drew Nelson provided an update regarding the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) reaffirmation of accreditation process to regents during the first regular meeting of the year on Jan. 27.
“The general feeling is they (SACS) want us to succeed,” Nelson, who observed an on-site review by SACS at a community college in Mississippi last fall, said of his overall experiences.
Colleges accredited through SACS undergo an extensive review every 10 years to ensure standards meet the needs of students. ACC’s reaffirmation of accreditation was due last March; however, the college was given a year extension to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and will submit its report next month.
In addition to participating in a detailed self-study of all programs, services and actions associated with the college, ACC was required to develop and implement a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) initiative as part of the new SACS reaffirmation process.
The QEP project was created to ensure that SACS accredited colleges can identify areas that need improvement and develop and implement plans that will benefit students.
“Our QEP mission that was chosen is to have all of our students complete an online MyBlackboard orientation,” said Karen Downey, co-chair of the ACC QEP Committee and an ACC court reporting instructor. MyBlackboard is the system used at ACC for online courses.
“We found they were having technical problems and some were not able to use the features,” Downey stated. “We found there was this knowledge gap and there was a lot of frustration with the students and faculty.”
The goal of ACC’s QEP is to implement the online training in the fall of 2013.
“Everyone’s excited about it,” Downey said. “It’s a very viable and productive QEP.”
Following an on-site visit at ACC in the fall, the SACS Commission on Colleges will review the reports and then make a final decision regarding the accreditation in June 2012.
In other matters, regents approved the annual audit following a presentation by Mir•Fox & Rodriguez Principal and Certified Public Accountant Elissa Posway.
During the meeting, regents also approved several personnel matters, TSCM education benefits for four personnel for spring 2011, financial report ending December 2010 and the check register.
The next regular ACC Board of Regents meeting will be Feb. 24.