College Gets Welcome News from SACSCOC Committee

At the conclusion of their PCC onsite visit, SACSCOC Reaffirmation Committee members (seated) take a moment for a group photo with PCC administrators, faculty and staff.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College administrators received some outstanding news Thursday morning regarding the school’s bid for reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

After spending most of the week on the PCC campus conducting interviews with faculty, staff and students and reviewing documentation, an eight-member SACSCOC Reaffirmation Committee told Pitt administrators they had “no recommendations” for the college regarding its bid for reaccreditation. The committee also noted PCC’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a key component of the accreditation process, was “compliant in all five phases.”

“That’s the best possible news we could have received from the SACSCOC team this morning,” said PCC President Lawrence Rouse. “Though it’s technically unofficial at this point in time, by having no recommendations for PCC, the committee essentially told us Pitt Community College’s accreditation had been reaffirmed for the next 10 years.”

Rouse noted that SACSCOC’s governing board will make PCC’s bid for reaffirmation of accreditation official when it meets in June 2023.

“Though our work to ensure SACSCOC accreditation never truly ends, the five years leading up to the reaffirmation team’s onsite visit grow considerably more intense the closer the visit gets,” Rouse said. “Fortunately, PCC has had great leadership from Vice President Brian Miller, who served as our SACSCOC liaison, and PCC Board of Trustees Chairman Gary Evans, along with significant contributions from many faculty and staff members. It was truly a team effort.”

Rouse said Pitt’s QEP focuses on increasing online student success, and he explained that the QEP aspect of the reaccreditation process reflects a college’s commitment to continual self-improvement.

“SACSCOC accreditation is a U.S. Department of Education requirement that ensures institutions of higher learning are continually making quality improvements to their programs and services,” he said. “It’s required for PCC students to apply for federal student aid and for the transferability of the credits they earn at Pitt to other colleges and universities, so it’s definitely a big deal.”

The SACSCOC team that visited PCC this week was comprised of representatives from higher educational institutions within the southeastern United States. During their final report, committee members said the PCC pride they saw in faculty and staff was evident. They also said Pitt selected a “great” and “very important” QEP topic, because “internet courses aren’t going away anytime soon.”

Rouse thanked committee members for the hard work they put in at PCC this week and their dedication to ensuring institutions of higher learning are providing quality educational services to students.

“The committee members were professional, courteous and decidedly thorough in carrying out their responsibilities,” he said. “They certainly did their job and had some tough questions for us, which I think is extremely important, since our goal at PCC is to provide top quality programs and services.”