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SACSCOC Reaffirms Accreditation for PCC

Hard work by Pitt Community College employees paid off this month, when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges approved the college's bid for reaffirmation of accreditation.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College administrators received word this month that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board voted to reaffirm PCC’s accreditation with no additional follow up.

"Regional accreditation of our college by the Southern Association is one of our most important reviews and accomplishments,” said PCC President G. Dennis Massey. “It is our seal of approval awarded by respected peers from across the nation.”

PCC’s efforts to earn the SACSCOC seal of approval involved several years of work by various campus committees to ensure the college was in compliance with the accrediting organization’s standards.

“We are proud of what we learned in this process about ourselves and the standards of quality for our programs and services,” Massey said. “We are committed to continual improvement, and our review, in all its stages, provided many directions for current and future efforts."

One particular committee at PCC was charged with developing a five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is a key component of the reaccreditation process that pertains to enhancing student learning. PCC’s plan – called “CAP” – focuses on improving the college’s career and academic planning services, since both are critical to student persistence and completion.

In September, an on-site committee from SACSCOC visited the PCC campus to examine data and conduct interviews to evaluate the QEP’s soundness. At the conclusion of their visit, committee members provided PCC administrators with written advice and developed a consensus of their findings.

In the months that followed, SACSCOC officials reviewed all of the steps PCC took to earn reaffirmation of accreditation before voting to give their approval on June 24.

“This was a team effort by all our faculty and staff, and we are proud of our achievement,” Massey said. “It is a marathon race, which has made us stronger and more able to serve students and our community."

By accepting accreditation, PCC must undergo a SACSCOC review every 10 years to ensure it continues to maintain the accrediting organization’s standards. The next step in the process comes in 2017, when the college will report on the progress of its CAP project.

"The process of compliance and the pursuit of excellence are continuous,” Massey explained. “We worked for three years to prepare for our most recent review, and the CAP program – targeted for quality enhancement in career and academic advising – will support students for many years to come.”

SACSCOC accreditation is critical to PCC’s ability to serve students. Without it, the college would no longer be eligible to receive state funding and students could not apply for federal financial aid. Accreditation also ensures that the courses PCC students complete and the degrees they attain are recognized by other educational institutions and employers.