Though the “official” letter is still on its way, the college recently received notice that its accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, SACSCOC.
“It’s always a relief to have the official word that we’ve been re-accredited, but reaffirmation isn’t something that depends on just the reports and the site visit,” said Dr. Thom D. Chesney, president of Brookhaven College. “It acknowledges the quality of the work everyone does at the college all the time. Dozens of people contribute to the reports and work that goes into the actual materials we submit to SACSCOC, and we owe them all a big ‘thank you,’ but the work hasn’t really ended.”
There are three items that will require additional work over the coming years. None came as a surprise to the Brookhaven SACS Leadership Team. Two items are related to institutional effectiveness and how the college uses data and evidence to identify and assess student outcomes and competencies. The college will send additional reports to SACSCOC next year about these comprehensive standards.
The third item refers to the system structure of the DCCCD as it relates to the governance of Brookhaven College. As part of the fifth-year interim report, the college will need to prepare a follow-up report to address some of the questions the commission had about the relationship between the district and the college.
“Because we have already begun shaping and adjusting our institutional effectiveness and assessment efforts towards continuous improvement and systematic analysis,” said Dr. Chesney, “I am confident that our responses—-both near- and long-term—-will meet the Commission’s high expectations and our own.”
For any employees who are new to the college or to higher education, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional body that accredits degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. Every ten years, colleges and universities that are accredited by SACSCOC must go through a rigorous process of peer review to maintain accreditation. SACSCOC requires compliance with an exacting set of standards to become and to stay an accredited institution.