College leadership, faculty prepare for reaccreditation visit

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The proposed quality enhancement plan will be reviewed and can take effect in fall 2016.

By Melissa Luna

Faculty, staff and administrators are busy preparing for this college’s on-site reaccreditation visit Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

Although the college is accredited through Aug. 31, 2016, it is required to follow a reaffirmation process every 10 years.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, will be visiting this college to review the compliance and focused reports and to learn about the quality enhancement plan.

English Professor Ernest Tsacalis and Celita Avila, reference and distance librarian, are co-directing Fearless Learning, which was created to help first-time-in-college students cohesively use reading, writing and research skills.

“We are not creating something new, just enhancing something that already exists,” Avila said. “We want to strengthen the safety net for students.”

Implementation of Fearless Learning will not add any courses to degree plans, but rather embed library instruction courses into English, integrated reading and writing; student development; and education classes in the 2015-16 academic year.

“The goal is to get students to use library instruction and writing resources to their advantage,” Tsacalis said. “It will help students grow, academically and professionally.”

Showing students how to efficiently use these basic skills will help them complete their assignments quickly and with ease, he said.

Dr. Johnnie Rosenauer, founding director of the Murguia Learning Institute, is this college’s communication liaison for the team’s on-site visit.

Along with college President Robert Vela and college leadership, Rosenauer will meet with two SACS-COC On-Site Reaffirmation Committee members during their visit.

“We only have six (demerits) against us in the compliance report, which is why we are only getting two visitors,” Vela said.

There are several other colleges that have received as many as 40, so six is a really great start, he said.

“We have an extremely solid base,” Rosenauer said. “We don’t want to raise stress levels; this is just a look in the rearview mirror.”

Reaccreditation is required for this college to award associate degrees and certificates, ensure transferability and provide financial aid.

For more information on SACS-COC or the quality enhancement plan, visit www. or


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