Submitted by Dalton State College
Dalton State College has been reaffirmed for accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Dalton State is accredited to award associate and bachelor’s degrees and must undergo reaffirmation of accreditation every 10 years. The reaffirmation audit took place last fall following an 18-month period of comprehensive self-study and assessment, according to Henry M. Codjoe, director of institutional research and planning, and Dalton State’s SACS liaison.
Guided by the “Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement,” nine committees, with broad representation from the college community, participated in review and analysis of virtually every aspect of campus operations, Codjoe said.
“Reaffirmation means that we have met or exceeded SACS’ high standards for quality as a provider of higher education,” said John O. Schwenn, president of Dalton State. “It is gratifying to be awarded this ‘seal of approval’ from our accrediting body and demonstrates that we are offering a quality academic program and rich campus life experience in a fiscally-sound manner.”
The benefits of accreditation to the institution are many: students are eligible to receive federal financial aid, faculty can apply for federally-funded research grants, and students can be sure that the work they do at Dalton State will be creditable.
“Reaffirmation means Dalton State is managed very well, and has a great academic reputation,” said Codjoe.
As part of the rigorous reaffirmation process, Dalton State prepared two separate documents: a Compliance Certification document, demonstrating analysis of the extent to which the college conforms to Core Requirements and Comprehensive Standards, and a Quality Enhancement Plan, detailing a well-designed course of action that addresses an issue specifically focused on improving student learning.
Though reaffirmation of the college’s accreditation was the driving force behind the self-analysis, the college ultimately seeks to use its recognized strengths to enhance and guide future growth and development, Codjoe said.
Joining Schwenn and Codjoe on the SACS Reaffirmation Leadership Team were Scott Bailey, vice president for fiscal affairs; Jodi Johnson, vice president for enrollment and student services; and Sandra Stone, vice president for academic affairs.
Also, Linda LaChapelle, associate professor of office administration and faculty liaison; Mary T. Nielsen, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and general editor of the Compliance Certification Report; Christy T. Price, professor of psychology and faculty liaison; and Barbara Tucker, associate professor of communication and chair of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Team. Patton Hunt served as student representative.