SACSCOC Reaffirmation
Ogeechee Technical College

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The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges' (SACSCOC) Reaffirmation of Accreditation is a comprehensive internal and external review process to ensure that member institutions maintain continuing compliance with Commission policies and with The Principles of Accreditation. An institution must be reaffirmed five years after it gains Initial Accreditation and every 10 years thereafter. Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) earned its initial accreditation in 2014 and is scheduled for reaffirmation in 2019.
 
According to SACSCOC, the success of the reaffirmation process depends upon four paramount concepts: (1) the belief that the accreditation of institutions should be determined through a system of peer review whereby institutional effectiveness and quality are evaluated primarily by individuals from institutions of higher education, and professional educators whose knowledge and experience enable them to exercise professional judgment, (2) institutional integrity evidenced by all information disseminated by institutions seeking reaffirmation being truthful, accurate, and complete and all institutional interactions with constituencies and the public being honest and forthright, (3) commitment to quality enhancement and continuous improvement, and (4) focus on student learning and on institutional effectiveness in supporting and enhancing student learning. For more information about SACSCOC, please visit www.sacscoc.org.
 
OTC's Reaffirmation Leadership Team
Ms. Lori S. Durden, President
Mr. Jeff Davis, Vice President for Technology & Institutional Support
Dr. Ryan Foley, Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
Dr. Lynn Futch, Director for the Quality Enhancement Plan
Ms. Eyvonne Hart, Vice President for Administration
Ms. Jan Moore, Vice President for Economic Development
Ms. Brandy Taylor, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness
Mr. Barry Turner, Vice President for College Advancement
 
Reaffirmation Timeline
December 2016 - OTC's Leadership Team attended SACSCOC's Reaffirmation of Accreditation Orientation
March 2018 - Compliance Certification and Institutional Summary due
May 2018 - Off-Site Peer Review conducted
August 21, 2018 - Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Focused Report, and updated Institutional Summary Form due
October 2-4, 2018 - On-Site Peer Review conducted
June 2019 - Review by SACSCOC Board of Trustees
 
Quality Enhancement Plan Timeline
January 2016 - QEP Planning Team
March-December 2016 - QEP Data Team
December 2016 - OTC's Leadership Team attended SACSCOC's Reaffirmation of Accreditation Orientation
February 2017 - QEP Implementation Team/Marketing Team
February-April 2017 - Develop QEP Goals and SLOs
August 21, 2018 - QEP due
 
What is a QEP and why do we need it?
Ogeechee Technical College (OTC) is a public institution of higher education and a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia. OTC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states and requires colleges and universities to submit a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) as part of their reaffirmation of accreditation. Equally if not more important, OTC's QEP reflects and affirms our commitment to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue we consider important to improving student learning outcomes and student success. According to The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement:
 
The institution has a Quality Enhancement Plan that (a) has a topic identified through its ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation processes; (b) has broad-based support of institutional constituencies; (c) focuses on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success; (d) commits resources to initiate, implement and complete the QEP; and (e) includes a plan to assess achievement.
 
What's the focus of OTC's QEP?
Everything we do is designed to enhance students’ educational experiences at OTC. This dedication serves as the foundation for the College’s QEP, which is designed to enhance student success by teaching students how to develop clear paths to their educational goals. The intended outcomes are for beginning students to persist by enabling each student to define distinct academic goals and to create a clear pathway resulting in timely completion of those goals. Specifically, the outcomes include:

Outcome 1: Beginning students will persist from Fall to Fall.

o Strategy 1: Beginning students will develop a Master Academic Plan (MAP) by the end of their first semester.
o Strategy 2: Beginning students will meet advising checkpoints.
o Strategy 3: Beginning students will utilize tutoring services.
o Strategy 4: Beginning students will develop a financial plan which includes college expenses.
o Strategy 5: Beginning students will develop a time management plan.

Outcome 2: Beginning Health Care Assistant (HCA) and Health Care Science (HCS) students will persist to a program of study.

o Strategy 1: Beginning HCA and HCS students will develop a Master Academic Plan (MAP) once they transition to a program advisor.
o Strategy 2: Beginning HCA and HCS students will meet advising checkpoints.
 
How was this topic selected?
OTC began the process of choosing a topic in 2014. The Topic Selection Team was formed in October 2014 and was comprised of faculty and staff from each division of the College and students. The Topic Selection Team was charged with:
 
  • engaging and involving the campus community in discussions about the QEP;
  • identifying issues important to improving student learning and/or student success; and
  • identifying potential topic areas for the QEP based on the College’s planning and evaluation process.

In November 2014, this team tallied results from a brainstorming session with faculty and staff and survey results given to students, program advisory committees, the Local Board of Directors, and the Executive Board of the OTC Foundation, Inc. These five areas were suggested as topics:

  1. Orientation
  2. Teaching/Learning
  3. Advising
  4. Technology
  5. Tutoring

In 2015, based on the feedback from the Topic Selection Team, members of the Planning Team were selected based on their expertise or knowledge about key areas like advising, orientation, and the COLL 1010 course (College and Career Success Skills). The Planning Team divided into subcommittees and each subcommittee was tasked with:

  • reading the research and analyzing the data provided;
  • determining the status of their area within the College presently;
  • developing ideas about things that need to continue; and
  • developing ideas on what needed to be improved.

The actual QEP development process began in 2016 with the formation of the Data Team. Although various teams played pivotal roles in the planning and development of the QEP, the Data Team was instrumental in extracting and analyzing the data from the strategic planning process and served as the early architects of the QEP. From the results of the 2015 strategic planning process, the Data Team knew which areas were of most concern to the students, faculty, staff, and constituents. In March 2016, team members were divided into six subcommittees to dig deeper into institutional effectiveness data and examine six key areas:

  • First-time students (beginning students)
  • College and Career Success Skills course (COLL 1010)
  • First-generation students
  • Learning support/general education courses/gateway courses
  • Advising

 In 2017, members of the Implementation Team, who represented all divisions of the College, were asked to solicit additional feedback from faculty and staff in their respective areas. Based on these results, it was evident the focus of the QEP was aligning with Goal 3 of the College’s Strategic Plan, which is to provide services and resources to promote student success. The Implementation Team, using feedback from faculty, staff, students, and other constituents, identified the following areas as barriers to students not being able to complete their program of study. The barriers included:

  1. Academic Plans/Paths
  2. Advisement
  3. Tutoring
  4. Financial Planning
  5. Time Management

The team felt confident that providing students with a clear path to their educational goals was the ultimate focus of the QEP. Once enrolled, helping students set clear goals and teaching them about the resources available on their pathway will keep students headed in the direction of completion. Therefore, the plan was designed to explain and communicate to students their program requirements from start to finish; provide them with an advisor who will support them throughout their program of study; and make them aware of available college resources, such as financial aid and tutoring.

By June 2017, the Steering Team shared the initial mission, goal, and outcomes of the QEP with all employees through the monthly QEP Newsletter. The same information was communicated to students via the weekly student newsletter, The Sizzler. In addition, the QEP Director updated students at a Student Leadership Council (SLC) meeting. Over the next year, the final goal and outcomes were reviewed and refined by the Action Team.


 SACSCOC Resources


SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison

Brandy Taylor
Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness
Phone: 912.871.1616  
Email: btaylor@ogeecheetech.edu

 
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