What is the importance of Reaffirmation?
Institutions within the North Carolina Community College system maintain SACS membership for a number of reasons. Foremost among these is the opportunity accreditation provides to define our mission, demonstrate that we have the resources and services necessary to meet student needs, and to benchmark our performance among similar institutions.
Institutional accreditation focuses on evaluating the extent to which an institution fulfills its purpose or mission, the adequacy of resources and the effectiveness of the institution as a whole. Benefits derived from this accreditation might include enhanced public confidence, verification that the institution complies with agreed upon standards of excellence, an impetus for program and resource improvements, consistency and equivalency among institutions, decision support information for both internal and external customers, and more recently, as a “gatekeeper” function for obtaining federal funding. Institutional accreditation has evolved along geographic lines with six accrediting agencies currently serving the 50 states. For this reason, institutional accreditation is commonly referred to as “regional” accreditation. Western Piedmont Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS COC) which accredits institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America.
Programmatic accreditation focuses on components within an institution such as specific professional programs, courses of study or even individual courses or certifications. There are more than 80 programmatic, faith-based, and national accrediting agencies in the United States. A few Western Piedmont programs that are accredited by programmatic accrediting agencies include the nursing, dental assisting, paralegal, criminal justice, medical assisting, and business programs.
During the process of reaffirmation, Mayland Community College has the opportunity to demonstrate the integrity of its institution, show rigor in its programs, and be reviewed by peers on the success of the College mission. Reaffirmation is an opportunity to show how well the College performs as an educational institution, as well as to learn from other educators and develop plans for improving the College in the future.
By maintaining membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, MCC is able to insure that high quality programs and services relative to other institutions are offered, to maintain College access to funding and resources necessary to support its mission, and to participate in a process of self-examination that will lead to new innovations in the way the College serves the community.