Dalton State College begins SACS Reaffirmation Process


Dalton State College is launching its accreditation reaffirmation process that will culminate in a visit by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 2013.

Every 10 years, all accredited colleges and universities nationwide must have their accreditation reaffirmed by their regional accrediting agencies. Dalton State is currently accredited to award associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.

As part of the reaffirmation process, Dalton State must prepare a Compliance Certification document and a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

“The Compliance Certification document will show the extent to which the College is in compliance with Core Requirements and Comprehensive Standards, and the QEP will outline courses of action to address issues specifically focused on improving student learning,” says Dr. John Schwenn, President of Dalton State and Chair of the Leadership Committee that will oversee the reaffirmation process.

Fourteen committees, comprised of a broad representation from the college community, will participate in the review and analysis of the institution’s mission, governance and administration, institutional effectiveness, educational programs, faculty, library and learning resources, student services, facilities, and resources.

These committees will undertake a thorough examination of the institution, evaluating its strengths and identifying and addressing any weaknesses, according to Dr. Henry Codjoe, Director of Institutional Research and Planning for Dalton State College.

“Committee members will use Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement as their guide to determine where the College excels and where we can identify areas for improvement,” Codjoe says.

The self-study process will begin in March of 2010 and is expected to take about two years to complete, and the majority of documents, surveys, and resources will be posted online, which Codjoe says will enhance the efficiency of the process.

“Although reaffirmation of the College’s accreditation is a driving force behind the self-analysis, the College ultimately seeks to use its recognized strengths to enhance and guide future growth and change,” says Dr. John Hutcheson, Vice President for Academic Affairs, who is serving as the SACS liaison.