Austin Community College District moves to the final stage of its accreditation reaffirmation process with high praise.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) on-site reaffirmation visitation team recently completed its visit and found ACC in compliance with all standards in the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation and had no recommendations.
“What a wonderful accomplishment for ACC to receive zero recommendations. This is a testament to the conscientiousness and dedication of all who contributed,” says Dr. Mary Harris, Institutional Effectiveness & Grant Development (IEGD) vice chancellor. “Kudos to Misty Rasmussen for her work in bringing this all together and to the rest of the IEGD team for their support. Also, thank you to the cabinet, administration, faculty, staff, students, and R.B. You all showed up and represented ACC well.”
“It has been a long three years preparing for this day, and we did it with the utmost grace and professionalism. Everyone at ACC has contributed in some way to ACC’s success. It took all Riverbats working in connection with each other collectively and collaboratively to pull off ‘Zero’ Recommendations,” says Misty Rasmussen, ACC Planning & Accreditation associate dean.
Accreditation reaffirmation is an external review process assuring colleges, universities, and education programs meet rigorous standards for quality assurance and improvements. Every 10 years ACC must go through this process to remain an accredited institution.
The eight-member SACSCOC evaluation team was led by Dr. Matteel Knowles, Vice President of Student Services at Greenville Technical College in South Carolina. Also accompanying this committee were:
- Dr. Nuria Cuevas, SACSCOC Vice President;
- Dr. Kathleen Plinske, President of Valencia College in Florida;
- Dr. Divya Bhati, Associate Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness, and Associate Professor, Higher Education Administration, College of Charleston in South Carolina;
- Dr. Sarai C. Blincoe, Chair, Psychology Department, and Assistant Dean Assessment and Curriculum at Longwood University in Virginia;
- Dr. Malou C. Harrison, Executive Vice President and Provost at Miami Dade College in Florida;
- Dr. Jeffery Scott Howard, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in North Carolina;
- Kim Reed, QEP Lead Evaluator and Director of Learning Commons at the College of Western Idaho; and
- Sarah Wilde, Director, Accreditation and Quality Enhancement at Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina, as an observer.
The on-site reaffirmation team traveled to Austin October 24 – 27 and visited several ACC campuses and high schools where the college has dual credit classes, including:
- ACC Highland Campus
- ACC Rio Grande Campus
- ACC San Gabriel Campus
- ACC South Austin Campus
- Anderson High School
- Crockett High School
- Dripping Springs High School
- Rouse High School
Preparations for ACC’s 2023 Decennial Reaffirmation Self-Study visit began more than three years ago, with the ACC Planning & Accreditation Office working with various departments collegewide to draft and write the Reaffirmation Report and the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
Leading up to the visitation dates, informational meetings, mock interviews, and mock campus tours were held at each site that would be visited.
“I extend my deepest appreciation to the Riverbat community for this incredibly positive review,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC chancellor. “Our faculty and staff are deeply committed to the work of this great institution, and it shows. It’s because of your tireless dedication and support of our mission to help all students succeed that we are here today. I’m especially proud of the collaborative spirit that I see on our campuses every day. The support within our community to help one another is inspiring. This achievement reflects your great work, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
The On-Site Reaffirmation committee will prepare its written report, which will be sent to ACC for comment. The college anticipates a final report will be compiled and sent to the SACSCOC Board of Trustees for approval in June 2023.
To learn more about ACC’s accreditation, visit austincc.edu/about-acc/accreditation.