Spartanburg Community College (SCC) has received official notification from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees and its Committees on Compliance that the institution has received reaffirmation of accreditation for a full 10 years. The reaffirmation is through 2026 with a five-year review in 2021.
"Receiving the official reaffirmation letter from SACSCOC was a huge accomplishment for our entire SCC community, one that represents hundreds of hours of work by many dedicated SCC faculty and staff persons under the outstanding leadership of Dr. Cheryl Cox, SCC's senior vice president of Academic Affairs, and Jay Jackson, SCC's director of Evaluation, Accreditation, and Planning and SACSCOC Liaison," says Henry C. Giles, Jr., SCC's president. "Everyone involved in our reaffirmation process went above and beyond their duties to document that SCC has again been deemed an exemplary institution of higher learning."
Jay Jackson, who led SCC's reaffirmation initiative adds, "So many individuals across campus had direct involvement with this effort over the past five years that it would be nearly impossible to thank everyone as this was definitely a team effort involving everyone from our five campuses throughout our service area of Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties. I am grateful to our entire SCC family for doing what they do each day in and out of the classroom - making our students and their futures a priority. The efforts of all to provide our students with a great learning environment and a commitment to continuous improvement made it possible for us to receive such positive results from SACSCOC."
Accreditation is required for college and universities to have access to federal funds, such as student aid and other federal programs, and federal student aid is only available to students if the institution or program they are attending is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization. The SACSCOC grants accreditation to an institution if it (1) has a mission appropriate to higher education, (2) has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, and (3) maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives."
Giles added that most individuals may not realize the real significance of accreditation, but it is a key component that all prospective students should research and understand prior to enrolling at any college or university. "Accreditation signifies that an institution is deemed qualified in a variety of areas to teach and offer programs to prospective students, and that faculty members have the credentials to teach what they teach. Without accreditation, students cannot take advantage of financial aid offerings and they are limited in transfer options or continuing their education for higher degrees."
Initial preparations for SCC's reaffirmation of accreditation process began in 2011, which included planning, documenting and reporting SCC's many different accomplishments several years before an official visit by a SACSCOC On-Site Review team. In fall 2015, a SACSCOC On-Site Review team made up of faculty and administrators from colleges and universities across the Southern Region visited SCC to assess first-hand the College's success in fulfilling its mission, goals and objectives.
A key component of SCC's reaffirmation process called for identifying an area within the College that needed improvement to enhance the student learning experience. In response, SCC developed a five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) focused on increasing students' information literacy skills and ultimately their workplace readiness. "Through our QEP, Win: Working Information, we will prepare students for success in and out of the classroom, arming them with skills today's employers require," explains Judy Sieg, SCC's QEP director. "It's not enough anymore just to have 'book knowledge.' Instead, today's employers need employees who can retrieve information in many formats, can discern patterns and connections, can explore an issue deeply, can make valid judgments regarding information, and who can apply those skills in order to solve problems."
More information on SCC's Reaffirmation Accreditation can be found at the following links: www.sccsc.edu/qep/ and www.sccsc.edu/sacs/.