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College Leaders Focus on Upcoming SACS Visit

August 15, 2013 - Eastern Florida State College leaders discussed the importance of the college’s upcoming re-accreditation process Thursday, telling faculty and staff that everyone is “all in” to make it a success.

The subject was the focus of the annual Welcome Back event at the King Center for the Performing Arts, which marks the start of the Fall Term.

SACS booth
Those attending could learn more about the SACS process from Dr. Jayne Gorham, VP, Planning & Assessment, on the left, and Dr. Dedra Sibley, Director, Institutional Advancement.

The faculty and staff gathered heard from Eastern Florida President, Dr. Jim Richey, who praised their work in transforming the college into an institution that now offers four-year Bachelor’s Degrees. He also thanked them for maintaining the college's top national reputation as the institution grows.

“I want you to know the public strongly supports our new efforts to offer more educational opportunities to students. I hear that support wherever I go along the Space Coast and throughout Central Florida,” he said.

The college’s next big step is the October visit by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or SACS, accreditation committee to evaluate Eastern Florida’s academic standards and practices, he said.

Richey urged everyone to make the evaluation a success, saying “we’re all in together.”

EFSC Executive Team
The Eastern Florida Executive team is "All In." Pictured from left to right are Linda Miedema, Jim Richey, John Dietrich and Rich Laird.

Dr. Linda Miedema, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Learning Officer, explained that accreditation tells students they can expect the best in higher education.

That includes “qualified teachers working to improve student achievement, access to a rich, diverse and sound curriculum, the ability to transfer credits to other schools and greater access to financial aid,” she said.

Others talked about a critical component of accreditation — the college’s Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, which is designed to improve student performance.

Welcome Back t-shirts

Dr. Ramona Smith, an associate professor of biology and a leader in QEP development, said the plan uses a combination of academic and other skills “to ensure success in college and the workplace.”

She said all employees should be familiar with the plan’s goals, which are available on the college’s website at

The SACS committee will visit the Titusville, Cocoa, Melbourne and Palm Bay campuses and meet with faculty, staff and students Oct. 21-24.