February 13, 2018

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the accrediting body for East Central Community College in Decatur, has accepted the college’s Fifth-Year Interim Report with no additional information requested.

ECCC submitted its Fifth-Year Interim Report, along with its Quality Enhancement Plan Impact Report, in September 2017. SACSCOC’s decision on those reports came at its annual board meeting held in Dallas in December.

According to ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart, it is uncommon for an institution to have a report that does not require additional information or reports be submitted to SACSCOC in order to be judged in compliance with the accrediting body’s standards and requirements.

“I am extremely proud of our college,” said Stewart. “This is a wonderful accomplishment that was a total team effort by the entire campus community. I would venture to guess that not all institutions have a ‘clean’ report and many are required to provide additional information or reports in order to be judged in compliance, which makes the status of our reports that much more satisfying.

“It also is a wonderful reflection on the educational programs and services we provide for every student at East Central Community College every single day.”

SACSCOC, with headquarters in Decatur, Ga., is one of eight regional accrediting bodies for colleges and universities in the U.S, serving institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Latin America.

Colleges and universities that are accredited by SACSCOC must seek reaffirmation of that accreditation every 10 years, which requires an off-site campus visit by a peer committee and submission of a five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). At the midway point of the accreditation process, institutions must submit a Fifth-Year Interim Report on progress since the previous off-site campus visit, including a report on the impact of the QEP.

The QEP is designed to improve an aspect of student learning or the environment for student success. Titled The Warrior Path to Success, ECCC’s QEP was designed to enhance student learning and engagement for first-time, first-semester, full-time, at-risk students enrolled in developmental classes. Those students were placed in an academically challenging seminar in the first semester of the initial year of enrollment with a goal to develop college success skills to promote retention and persistence to completion and graduation. ECCC’s review of The Warrior Path to Success indicated that the initiative improved retention and completion for the students it served.

According to David Case, ECCC’s vice president for institutional research and effectiveness, ECCC is already preparing for its next 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation by SACSCOC, an intensive process that involves every area of campus. The deadline to submit the compliance certification report is spring 2021, followed by a visit to campus by a SACSCOC peer review committee in fall 2021.

ECCC’s next QEP plan will be due to SACSCOC in late summer or early fall 2021.