WILMINGTON — The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges put Cape Fear Community College’s accreditation status “On Warning” earlier this week for failure to meet requirements regarding student performance and full-time faculty.
SACSCOC is a regional accrediting agency authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to certify institutions of higher learning in the Southern region of the United States. The SACSOC Board of Trustees action took place on Dec. 3; the organization released a disclosure statement Dec. 5 explaining its rationale for the warning.
The commission determined CFCC failed to demonstrate compliance with two components of its Principles of Accreditation. Core Requirement 6.1 requires institutions to employ a sufficient amount of full-time faculty members and Core Requirement 8.1 mandates the identification, evaluation, and recording of goals for student achievement outcomes.
The warning status lasts for one year. SACSCOC will review a monitoring report from CFCC in December 2024 addressing faculty and student performance concerns; it will then either remove the warning status, maintain the status and require another monitoring report, place CFCC on probation and authorize a special committee to review the situation, or remove the institution from membership.
The SACSCOC statement also said a special committee was not authorized to visit the institution; PCD reached out to the commission for more information about the situation but did not receive an answer by press.
CFCC director of media relations Christina Hallingse told Port City Daily the reason SACSCOC did not authorize a special committee was because they did not deem it necessary; it was not because CFCC rejected a request for a visit.
Hallingse said the college is meeting the SACSCOC requirements, but did not provide sufficient documentation for this year’s report.
“Over the next year CFCC is going to work with SACSCOC to provide clarifying documentation to demonstrate adherence to the standards,” Hallingse said; she noted SACSCOC will provide the college with detailed criteria on full-time faculty and student performance requirements to help them provide specific documentation.
Hallingse said SACSCOC previously placed CFCC on monitoring in 2017 — before current president Jim Morton took the position in 2018 — but the institution returned to standard accreditation the next year and maintained the status until the recent warning.
“I think that we supplied what we thought was needed,” she said. “However, they just need additional information. We are confident that we are adhering to the standards, we just need the documentation to support that.”
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