Aug 26, 2013

Columbia State Receives Re-Accreditation Through 2023

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Aug. 26, 2013) - - - Columbia State Community College announces the reaffirmation of accreditation through 2023 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Re-accreditation is a self-regulatory process for college and universities, which gives higher education institutions the opportunity to review current standards and maintain and improve academic quality.

During fall 2012, SACS representatives conducted a three-day on-site peer review to assess the college's continued educational quality and effectiveness. As a part of the re-accreditation process, the committee examined data and conducted interviews in order to verify compliance with SACSCOC standards. In June 2013, the SACSCOC board of trustees voted to reaffirm the college's accreditation.

"Accreditation reaffirmation is extremely important for the success of the college and our students," said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. "Columbia State is dedicated to student success, and reaffirmation by our regional accrediting body designates that success is occurring and that students are obtaining the quality education and opportunity they chose."

Earning the 10-year re-accreditation, the maximum time period allowed, preserves the ability for the college to receive federal funding, including student financial aid and grants.

As part of the process, Columbia State developed a Quality Enhancement Plan, a standard component in the re-accreditation process. The QEP outlined a focused course of action that would address a well-defined topic related to enhancing student learning.

"Our faculty and staff worked diligently to put together the QEP," said Dr. Margaret D. Smith, executive vice president and provost of academic and student programs and services. "As a result, 'Writing to Learn Matters' will be implemented this fall and is designed to foster critical thinking and analysis, beginning with statistics and American history classes."

"The primary goal of the plan is to improve student learning outcomes in academic performance and course completion," Smith continued.

The QEP is focused on writing as a means of improving academic achievement and success among first-year students. It includes the use of instructional strategies and writing activities that will help students learn to summarize, organize, analyze and reflect on course material.

Columbia State Community College is accredited by SACSCOC to award Associate of Art, Associate of Science, Associate of Science in Teaching, Associate of Fine Arts in Music, and Associate of Applied Science degrees, as well as technical certificates.

SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states that serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions. The accreditation process is intended to assure the quality of higher education institutions and programs and to help those institutions and programs improve. For additional information on SACSCOC and the accreditation process, visit