The Process of Accreditation
The process described below is specific to a member institution seeking reaffirmation
of accreditation.


Preparation by the Institution

As part of the reaffirmation process, the institution will provide two separate documents: a Compliance Certification document and a Quality Enhancement Plan.

Compliance Certification

The Piedmont Community College (PCC) Compliance Certification is a report the College submits approximately 15 months prior to the scheduled accreditation reaffirmation. In this report, the College indicates the extent of compliance with each of the Core Requirements, Comprehensive Standards, and Federal Requirements identified in The Principles of Accreditation. Together with these compliance judgments, the College provides narrative and evidence documenting the extent of compliance with each requirement or standard. Certification of the report by the President of the College and the Accreditation Liaison affirms that the self-study process has been thorough, honest, and forthright, and the Compliance Certification document is true, accurate, and complete.

Quality Enhancement Plan

The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), submitted four to six weeks in advance of the on-site review by the Commission, is a document developed by the institution that (1) includes a process identifying key issues emerging from institutional assessment, (2) focuses on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning and accomplishing the mission of the institution, (3) demonstrates institutional capability for the initiation, implementation, and completion of the QEP, (4) includes broad-based involvement of institutional constituencies in the development and proposed implementation of the QEP, and (5) identifies goals and a plan to assess their achievement.

PCC’s QEP emerges from institutional planning and evaluation processes to focus on an issue related to enhancing student learning. Called “Quantitative Reasoning for You (QR4U)”, the College’s quality enhancement plan seeks to improve students’ quantitative reasoning skills by implementing mathematics across the curriculum, using problem-solving and real-life applications.

Review by the Commission on Colleges

The Off-Site Review

PCC’s Off-Site Reaffirmation Committee, composed of a chair and eight evaluators, meets in Atlanta, Georgia, and reviews Compliance Certifications of a group of institutions to determine whether each institution is in compliance with all Core Requirements (except Core Requirement 2.12), Comprehensive Standards (except Comprehensive Standard 3.3.2), and Federal Requirements. The group of institutions evaluated, called a cluster, consists of no more than three institutions similar in governance and degrees offered. PCC is in Cluster 13 along with Pitt Community College and South Piedmont Community College. At the conclusion of the review, the Off-Site Reaffirmation Committee will prepare a separate report for each institution, recording and explaining its decisions regarding compliance. The report is forwarded to the respective institution’s On-Site Reaffirmation Committee which makes its final determination on compliance.

The On-Site Review

Following review by the Off-Site Reaffirmation Committee, an On- Site Reaffirmation Committee will conduct a focused evaluation at the campus to finalize issues of compliance with the Core Requirements, Comprehensive Standards, and Federal Requirements; provide consultation regarding the issues addressed in the QEP; and evaluate the acceptability of the QEP. The On-Site Reaffirmation Committee will visit PCC on Oct. 2-4, 2012.

At the conclusion of its visit, the On-Site Committee will finalize the Report of the Reaffirmation Committee, a written report of its findings noting areas of non-compliance, including the acceptability of the QEP. The Report of the Reaffirmation Committee, along with the institution’s response to areas of non-compliance, will be forwarded to the Commission’s Board of Trustees for review and action on reaffirmation.