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2012 August SACS Facts Newsletter

AUGUST 2012

And Down the Stretch We Come ...

PCC President G. Dennis Massey delivers his annual "State of the College" remarks during convocation Aug. 13.When PCC employees met for convocation this month, much of the annual meeting centered on the college's bid for reaffirmation of accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

During his "State of the College" speech at convocation, PCC President G. Dennis Massey spoke about accreditation and the steps the college has taken thus far in process to become reaccredited. The following is an excerpt from Dr. Massey's convocation speech:

“Socrates is attributed with the following quote from over 2,400 years ago: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’

“Our primary job as educators is to promote this process of self-examination, not just in our students, but in ourselves and the way we organize and evaluate this center of learning for our region which we call, ‘Pitt Community College.’

“This is the heart of the reaccreditation experience by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which we are close to completing. This is the heart of our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), ‘Career and Academic Planning.’

Become familiar with the QEP CAP logo. This logo represents retention, graduation and career placement. So, let’s all help students put on their CAPS toward becoming successful alumni.“… CAP’s primary goals [are] to increase student use of and engagement with career planning resources and to improve and support student access to quality academic advising.

“As our curriculum and our world become more complex, considering an academic major and planning and tracking progress is not easy for any student—let alone the many first-generation college students we serve. This plan will touch the lives of everyone here, as it will have impacts beyond the specific interventions listed.

“And as Socrates advised, we will immerse ourselves in self-examination, first by analyzing how students use our resources and how they pursue their educational goals. Remember, we are more than the ‘open door’ providing access for students.

"Our students’ success in completing degrees and diplomas is our primary measure of success, and we know that there are many reasons students drop out or stop out in their development. This is why we are investing in a new system entitled “Retention Alert” to proactively monitor individual student progress through the creation of success coaches and gradually phase out our current Early Alert System with this new approach. And I applaud what Vice President Donald Spell, Registrar Joanne Ceres, and others have done to map out a comprehensive plan for implementing this new system, which you will hear much more about in the coming year.

“Just a quick summary of where we are with the SACS process …

PCC President G. Dennis Massey and Dr. Linda Thomas-Glover on the steps of the Vernon E. White Building Aug. 23.• Dr. Larry Dendy headed up our overall efforts as SACS liaison and kept us on schedule.
• Dr. Brian Miller led a large team which submitted our Compliance Certification or Self-Study to a SACS group last spring.
• We responded to their initial questions and requests for further information with a Focused Report, which was submitted in late July to the team that will visit our campus Sept. 18-20.
• We also sent our Career and Advising Plan, which this team will respond to during the visit.
• The team’s chair, Dr. Linda Thomas-Glover, president of Virginia’s Eastern Shore Community College, will visit PCC 10 days from now to prepare for the September visit.
• Once that [visit] is complete, we will learn of the results with any recommendations for further work, and in December an initial response will be delivered by SAC’s Commission on Colleges.”

 

Circle Your Calendars for Sept. 18-20 ...

You probably noticed in Dr. Massey's closing remarks that the next big step for Pitt in the reaccreditation process will be a campus visit from SACSCOC Sept. 18-20.

This week, Dr. Linda K. Thomas-Glover, president of Virginia's Eastern Shore Community College, visited campus in preparation for next month's SACSCOC visit. Thomas-Glover, who was on campus Aug. 23-24, serves as chair of the SACSCOC committee that will visit PCC to examine data and conduct interviews as part of the accrediting process.

During her non-evaluative visit to PCC, Thomas-Glover toured campus and met with college personnel key to our accreditation efforts. She also reviewed how the college has prepared for next month's committee visit.

One of the visiting committee's tasks will be to evaluate the soundness of the college's quality enhancement plan and to offer suggestions for its improvement.

An executive summary of our QEP (Career and Academic Planning or "CAP") was included in the information distributed during convocation. Click HERE for a copy of that document.

 

All Aboard!

In addition to the QEP executive summary, employees were also given boarding passes for our reaccreditation journey as they entered convocation. These boarding passes highlight key information that is important for each of us to know in conjunction with the reaccreditation process. Please keep your pass close by, so you can refer to it now and during next month's onsite visit from SACSCOC.

 

A Lighthearted Look at PCC's Accreditation Efforts ...

As we conclude this month's SACS Facts newsletter, we leave you with a video from convocation in which the PCC Players perform a humorous skit pertaining to next month's SACSCOC visit and the college's overall efforts toward reaccreditation. Enjoy!