This year, Rollins College is undergoing reaccreditation, a complicated process that takes place every ten years. Currently, the school is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which allows Rollins to give valid baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees. To stay accredited, Rollins must turn in a Compliance Certification Report (CCR) and create a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). A team will also visit the Rollins campus from SACSCOC.
The CCR was given to SACSCOC in September 2014 and was over 500 pages long.
Carol Bresnahan, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and Co-chair of the accreditation team, said that, “The best analogy here is to a scholarly article: Rollins must document everything it says in the Compliance Certification Report. If we say, for instance, that a faculty member is qualified to teach a certain course, we need to provide documentation.”
Because of this, over 2,200 supporting documents have been submitted, in addition to the 500 page CCR.
There are over 100 qualifications that Rollins must prove that it meets. Some of these standards include technology usage, how the curriculum is structured, and student goal achievement. After reviewing the CCR, SACSCOC said that Rollins was not in compliance with 18 of their standards; this is not uncommon, and Rollins is submitting extra materials to prove they are in compliance by mid-February.
“Rollins will be reaccredited, and our goal is to come through the process with no “recommendations,” which, in SACSCOC’s view, are things that an institution must do,” said Bresnahan.
Students have been involved throughout the reaccreditation process. There have been several open student forums related to the reaccreditation and there will be more. Presentations have been made to SGA and students were on the committee that decided on a QEP.
One of the most important parts of reaccreditation is the school’s QEP that is intended to improve student academic life at Rollins. Career and Life Planning will be the focus of the QEP. A new program, called “R-Compass,” is in the process of development; it will focus on academic advising and career advising and how to better integrate the two.
A representative from SACSCOC came for one of two pre-visits to the Rollins campus on January 22 and 23. The official site visit will be March 17-19. During the site visit, the team will have access to almost anything they want; they will look into student complaints, meet with the President, and look further into the Rollins QEP. Though there will likely be no disruptions to student life during the visit, the team can randomly talk to students or faculty if they so choose. Most likely, they will be most interested in the QEP.
During their meeting with the President before they leave, the team will give the school a good idea of what, if anything, SACSCOC will be recommending the campus need improve. The school will have some time to respond and the SACSCOC will meet next August. The status of the school will be officially announced in December of 2015.
There are no anticipated issues with the reaccreditation of Rollins. Rollins was first accredited in 1927 and has been accredited every year since then.
“We’ve done a lot but we still have a lot to do,” said Bresnahan.
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