EFSC Takes Major Step Toward Reaccreditation
November 28, 2023
With a positive report on institutional compliance received this month by an eight-member peer review team, Eastern Florida State College readies itself for 10 more years of ‘good standing’ accreditation with its regional accrediting commission.
The positive report came from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) where an on-site peer review team in October found EFSC in full compliance with all institutional standards, setting the stage for its formal reaffirmation of accreditation next year.
The team visited EFSC campuses and off-campus instructional sites, reviewed the College’s Report on Compliance (Self-Study), and interviewed faculty, staff, and administrators in order to develop and deliver the reaccreditation report received by EFSC on November 9, 2023.
Its findings acknowledged EFSC’s sound practices after examining 14 key principles and about 70 standards that institutions must meet to be reaffirmed.
“This is the best possible outcome we could have received and reflects the outstanding work that our faculty and staff did for two years to prepare for the on-site visit,” said EFSC President Dr. Jim Richey.
“It shows our dedication every day to providing students with an excellent education. I’m extremely proud of everyone involved. We really hit it out of the park.”
The exemplary report is now lodged with the SACSCOC Board of Trustees, which is expected to approve EFSC’s 10-year reaccreditation in June 2024.
“The gold standard for colleges and universities is to receive full accreditation without any required follow up by SACSCOC over the course of the next 10 years. EFSC has now achieved that standard, which is a true testament to our commitment to excellence in all functions, facets, and systems of the college,” explained Dr. Randall Fletcher, Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs.
Fletcher, who leads Eastern Florida’s reaccreditation effort, continued by stating, “Accreditation provides students assurance they are receiving a quality education and gaining recognition from other colleges and employers of the course credits and degrees they have earned.”
For state colleges like EFSC, reaccreditation occurs once every 10 years and is done in higher education to make certain that colleges adhere to the highest academic and institutional standards.
A central part of EFSC’s reaccreditation is the Quality Enhancement Plan that centers on ways to improve student success in online learning.
Named “Rocket to Success: Taking Online Learning to New Heights,” the plan’s key elements include improving online learning through an emphasis on faculty professional development, quality online instruction, and strong student services support.
“The institution is to be applauded for developing a plan to improve the quality of online instruction,” the on-site team stated in its report.
They added the plan has broad support among faculty and staff and noted the college has committed $1 million to achieve the goals.
Their report also found the college operated with integrity, fulfilled its mission, has a solid administration and organization, proper number of faculty, and effective processes that focus on student success.