SACS reaffirms Bainbridge College’s accreditation

Published 11:10 am Monday, June 27, 2011

The Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), announced following the June meeting of its board of trustees that it has reaffirmed its accreditation of Bainbridge College.

“We are absolutely thrilled by this news,” said BC President Richard Carvajal. “SACS’ decision to reaffirm our accreditation for the next 10 years is definitely a sign that they recognized Bainbridge College’s commitment to institutional excellence.”

Accreditation granted and/or reaffirmed by a regional accrediting body refers to the quality of the institution as a whole, according to information from SACS. Stretching from Texas to Florida and north to Virginia, the Southern Association is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states. SACS’ mission is the enhancement of educational quality throughout the region, and it strives to improve the effectiveness of institutions by ensuring that industry-wide standards are met.

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“There is no question that we have become a better college thanks to taking part in the SACS self-study process,” said President Carvajal. “We have improved our strategic planning and assessment efforts thanks to the help of our accreditation consultants, and we have created a focused plan to improve our online courses in the future.”

In addition to ensuring institutional quality, continued accreditation also enables students at accredited colleges to continue receiving financial aid as well as take part in employer reimbursement plans. Additionally, credits earned at any regionally-accredited college can be easily transferred to other such institutions.

“The success our students achieve, and the success which Bainbridge College has achieved through this wonderful news, is a direct result of the dedication, professionalism and plain hard work of our faculty, staff, students and community. I’m especially grateful to our core team for their diligent work completing our SACS reports,” Carvajal said.

The college’s accreditation core team included Tonya Strickland, vice president for academic affairs; academic division chairs, Michael Kirkland of Arts and Sciences and Learning Support, Sheree Dickenson of Health Sciences, and Adria Belk of Technical Studies; and faculty and staff members Melissa Harrell, David Pollock, Tatyana Pashnyak, Joyce Register and Amy Wells.

“Regional accreditation is a voluntary institution-driven process that we choose to participate in because we believe in continuous improvement for the benefit of student success,” Carvajal said, noting it involves an on-going process with five- and 10-year benchmarks for self-study. The process includes input from all areas of the college—faculty, staff, students and other members of the communities BC serves.

“Our reaffirmation as a fully accredited institution of higher learning is indeed a major milestone for our entire college community,” said Carvajal.