As most of you know, we are accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SACS, and our re-accreditation occurs every 10 years: the last one was in 2003 and the next one will be in 2013. However, in the years between those visits we will have SACS concerns. For example, any time a college makes a substantive change, it must receive approval from SACS. SACS defines substantive change as “a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution.”
This past spring, Brookhaven College submitted four substantive changes. The first two of these were submitted to SACS in August 2007; however, SACS requested additional information. We are currently waiting to hear back from SACS but do not anticipate there should be any major issues with these requests.
The first is Brookhaven College’s Associate Degree in Nursing home-host agreement with Mountain View College. What this means is that we need SACS approval for Brookhaven’s nursing program to be hosted on the Mountain View campus. This arrangement expands the college’s nursing program to the southwest sector of Dallas County, increases the number of students in the program, and opens up opportunities for people in the southwest sector of the county to pursue a nursing degree—something that is much in demand.
The second substantive change filed with SACS was the college’s dual credit agreement with R. L. Turner High School to offer the Emergency Medical Technician Basic certificate. This agreement provides these students the opportunity to complete all requirements for this certificate at R. L. Turner.
The last two substantive changes filed with SACS were for programs and certificates in which credit can be earned through distance learning. Over the years, the college has increased its number of distance learning courses exponentially, impacting the percentages of degrees, programs and certificates that can be earned through electronic delivery. Two notifications were necessary. The first of these was a notification to SACS of all awards in which 25-49 percent of credit can be earned electronically. The second of these dealt with those programs/awards where 50 percent or more credit can be earned by way of electronic delivery.
But substantive change is not the only SACS-related concern. SACS has implemented a required Fifth-Year Interim Report, which can best be described as a mini-compliance report coming between the decennial re-accreditation. Since Brookhaven’s re-accreditation was in 2003, that means that the Fifth-Year Interim Report is due to SACS in October of this year. This report will include an institutional summary and an abbreviated compliance certification, which monitors the college’s compliance with certain SACS’ Core Requirements and Comprehensive Standards, the successors to the "must statements" that were in effect when the college last conducted its compliance audit. Thomas Anderson of my office is currently drafting this document, and a group will be formed early in Fall 2008 to review this prior to submission.
If there are any questions about any of the above, please contact either Thomas Anderson or myself.
A number of new faculty and instructional administrators have been, or are being, recommended to the DCCCD Board of Trustees for employment at Brookhaven College beginning with the Fall 2008 Semester. Among the full-time faculty members are Rebecca Garcia, currently a Brookhaven College adjunct faculty in Spanish; Kent Polk, currently at Mountain View, in Speech; Claire Bambrough, currently a Visiting Scholar, in chemistry; and Mark Skorick, the SMU John Tower Fellow, in government.
Still to be identified is a full-time English instructor; though we hope to have someone hired in the next month. Three new Visiting Scholars will be with us in the fall, two of whom will shortly be going to the board for approval. Among these are Nelda Contreras, now an administrator at Mountain View College, in developmental writing, and Daniel Uribe, currently a charter high school teacher, in mathematics/developmental math. A third Visiting Scholar in humanities will be recommended to the board in June.
Brookhaven College’s new dean of nursing will be Mark Meyer, currently a nursing faculty member. We are hopeful of completing the search for the new executive dean of the Business Studies Division in the next several weeks.
I am sure you will welcome each of these individuals into the Brookhaven College family.