Dr. George C. Bradley, President, announced that Paine College received reaffirmation of its accreditation for the next 10 years by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC). The announcement comes after a three-year self-assessment conducted by Paine College officials and an on-campus visit by a SACS-COC approved team of administrators from peer institutions.
“This accomplishment indicates that Paine College possesses the academic programs, services, and resources to make quality offerings to students. Further, the self-assessment allows the College to evaluate its programs and work toward becoming a premier Liberal Arts College in the region,” said Dr. Bradley.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the recognized regional accrediting body in the eleven U.S. Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees. The Commission on Colleges is the representative body of the College Delegate Assembly and is charged with carrying out the accreditation process.
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. It is important that institutions retain accreditation in order to receive benefits from research funding and student aid linked to Title IV. Because of the rigorous process of accreditation, parents and students can trust that the education they are paying for is valuable. And, many potential employers review a job applicant’s educational history to make sure that the candidate received his or her education from an accredited college or university.
The self-assessment was steered by the Paine College Leadership Team under which fell two committees: 1) The Compliance Certification Team (CCT) prepared the report that demonstrated the SACS-COC Principles of Accreditation, and 2) The Quality Enhancement Plan Committee (QEPT) developed a well-defined and focused topic to enhance student learning.
By design, the QEP Team, co-chaired by a representative from Academic Affairs and from Student Affairs, consisted of faculty representing a variety of disciplines, staff from every major unit at the College, students and alumni. During the early stages of the self-study, faculty engaged in dialogue about skills they thought would improve the quality of education for Paine College students. After multiple discussions, surveys with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members, it was determined that the learning outcome to be addressed was engaging students in readings that developed the kinds of analytical skills necessary for an information-rich society. Thus, the Paine College QEP Learning Interactively Outside the Norm (L.I.O.N.): Great Books at Paine College took form. This ongoing initiative focuses on enhancing student literacy and learning by establishing elevated expectations for engaging complex texts, by interjecting innovative programs to promote the reading of core texts among faculty, staff and students to create literary dialogs between members of the Paine community and to link literary works with contemporary issues.
Dr. Bradley expressed his appreciation to everyone who contributed to the success of the SACS-COC reaffirmation of the College’s accreditation. “This achievement speaks volumes about the caliber of programs, faculty and staff at the College. We look forward to raising the bar as we raise results.”
To gain or maintain accreditation with the Commission on Colleges, an institution must comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and with the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges. The Commission on Colleges applies the requirements of its Principles to all applicants, candidates, and member institutions, regardless of type of institution (public, private for-profit, private not-for-profit).