Overview of 2007 Reaffirmation of Accreditation Process
About every ten years, member institutions are required to undergo an internal and external review in order to receive reaffirmation of accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Cape Fear Community College underwent its decennial review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2006-2007.
What is SACS?
SACS stands for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It’s one of seven regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. SACS consists of three commissions. The Commissions on Colleges accredits institutions of higher learning – like CFCC.
Why is it important that CFCC is accredited?
Being accredited by SACS is essential to the continued operation of Cape Fear Community College. Having accreditation means that CFCC’s credits will transfer to other colleges and universities, students are able to receive Federal funds for financial aid and the college receives funding from the state. In short, without accreditation, a college is ineligible for state and federal funding, its academic degrees are less valued and its overall reputation and value as an educational institution is diminished.
What happens during the reaffirmation process?
The accreditation process and review focuses on what institutions do to enhance student learning outcomes, the fundamental output of higher education. The reaffirmation process involves a two-step process: demonstrating compliance with the Commission on Colleges’ Core Requirements, Comprehensive Standards and Federal Requirements; and developing a Quality Enhancement Plan that focuses on enhancing student learning outcomes. Accreditation involves every aspect of a school’s mission and operations – from the board room to the classroom.
The following calendar marks the most important dates during the process.
- March 15, 2006: CFCC’s Online Compliance Certification Document due to SACS
- May 17-18, 2006: SACS Off-Site Peer Review of CFCC’s Compliance Document Conducted in Atlanta.
- Six weeks ahead of on-site visit: CFCC’s Quality Enhancement Plan due to SACS.
- October 17-20, 2006: SACS On-Site Review Conducted at CFCC.
- June 19-21, 2007: Review by Commission on Colleges to Reaffirm CFCC’s Accreditation Status.
SACS News Update:
As a part of the Reaffirmation of Accreditation process, Cape Fear Community College submitted its Compliance Certification report to the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on March 10, 2006. This report has been made available to everyone at http://cfcc.edu/SACS/.
In April and May of 2006 the SACS Off-Site Committee members conducted reviews of CFCC’s Compliance Certification, which culminated in a Preliminary Findings report. This report was received by Cape Fear Community College on June 5, 2006. You are encouraged to look at a summary of the Preliminary Findings report linked at the bottom of this page.
During June, July and August the SACS Leadership Team and others produced a Focused Report in response to the Preliminary Findings report, which was due to the Commission by September 19, 2006. At that same time the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) was submitted to the Commission, as well.
Following receipt of our Focused Report and the QEP, SACS brought an On-Site Committee to CFCC in October 2006 to take a closer look at the QEP and any outstanding issues of the Compliance Certification report.
In June 2007 the Commission conducted its final review of all applicable reports related to CFCC’s reaffirmation of accreditation and recommended that CFCC be reaffirmed for accreditation without follow-up.
SACS Accreditation Teams – View CFCC’s broad-based involvement during this process.