Daytona State earns positive accreditation reviewDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 26, 2013) – An on-site visit this week by a review team representing Daytona State College’s regional accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), concluded today with a positive report to move forward on reaffirming the college’s accreditation.

“I want to congratulate you on where you are today,” Dr. Claudette Williams, vice president, SACSCOC, told college officials in wrapping up the visiting team’s report. “You have done an outstanding job. Well done.”

The visiting team commended the college in a number of areas, including its institutional effectiveness, planning process and institutional research model. The only recommendation from the committee referred to SACS requirements for faculty credentials, which is believed to relate to one or two specialized professionals hired as adjunct instructors based on their in-depth experience rather than academic credentials.

The 12-member review committee’s findings placed the college in a strong position to move forward. 

“This is a proud day for our college community, beginning with the District Board of Trustees, whose guidance and support are crucial to our success,” said Daytona State President Carol W. Eaton. “I salute all of our teammates who have dedicated themselves to teaching and learning, from our faculty and academic support staff who constantly look for that teachable moment, to our admissions and maintenance crews who strive to create a helpful, welcoming environment.

“Throughout this entire reaffirmation process,” she added, “it has been unmistakably certain that Daytona State College is dedicated to working in the best interest of our students.”

The SACSCOC review process included two major components: Daytona State’s compliance with more than 90 of the regional accrediting body’s academic and administrative standards, and the effective implementation of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

Equally positive was the committee’s review of Daytona State’s QEP, an institution-specific strategy designed to enhance student learning, which all colleges and universities undergoing SACSCOC reaffirmation must develop. The committee commended several aspects of the QEP’s development process.

Called “Learn to SOAR,” Daytona State’s QEP focuses on increasing student success in the so-called “gateway” course, Freshman Composition. At its core is a first-semester, one-credit hour course called College Resources to initially be taken by first-time-in-college associate of arts degree students at risk of failing Freshman Composition. Taken concurrently with the composition course, students will learn how to navigate and use the resources available to them in Daytona State’s Academic Support Center, library and College Writing Center. Both independent and college research shows that students who take advantage of such resources are more likely to succeed in Freshman Composition and beyond. The course will be piloted on the Daytona Beach Campus in January 2014 and expanded over five years to include all students who may benefit and all college instructional sites.

The on-site review committee met with members of the college’s District Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty, support staff and students at each campus during the three-day visit that began on Tuesday, Sept. 24.  It will now draft a preliminary report and allow the college to respond prior to what is expected to be formal reaffirmation of the college’s accreditation next summer by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees.

“The reaccreditation process strengthens our community and our focus on the mission of student success,” says Dr. Thomas LoBasso, chief operating officer and provost. “The site-visit team’s positive review validates our work and affirms we’re on a progressive path.”

For nearly three years, hundreds of Daytona State faculty, administrators, support staff and students have been immersed in the reaffirmation initiative, a process that institutions accredited by the SACSCOC must undergo every 10 years. In the first phase, the off-site review, college officials last spring submitted to SACSCOC a 400-page compliance report that included nearly 2,000 pieces of supporting evidence documenting the institution was meeting or exceeding accreditation standards.

The SACSCOC on-site review team’s task was to verify information the college provided in its compliance report to ensure the institution was meeting accreditation standards.

President Eaton lauded the close-working fabric of the college and the team that led Daytona State through the process. “In my long career in collegiate leadership, I’ve never seen a more dedicated faculty and staff working together to give students the best, most comprehensive education possible.”

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MORE: Offering more than 100 certificate, associate and bachelor’s degree programs, Daytona State College is the leader in education and workforce training needs of Volusia and Flagler counties and beyond for more than 60 years. The College enrolls nearly 25,000 students a year at its seven instructional sites, with graduates serving in critical fields including healthcare, emergency services/public safety, business, education, hospitality, engineering, technology, digital media, and more. 

Daytona State has been recognized as a leader in higher education numerous times, consistently by U.S. News & World Report, which ranks the College among the Top Tier Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center has ranked DSC among the top 50 most affordable public four-year institutions in the country, with less than half the tuition of the national average. Community College Week, a leading publication in higher education, annually continues to feature the college in its list of Top 100 Associate Degree Producers. And U.S. News & World Report has ranked DSC among its Top Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans multiple times.

For enrollment information, visit Admissions’ Frequently Asked Questions page.

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