The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges has reaffirmed Claflin University's accreditation for the next 10 years.
President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale said the reaffirmation was a “significant achievement” due to the combined efforts of the institution's Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students.
“Reaffirmation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is critical to the future success of Claflin University,” Tisdale said. “This is a testament to the unparalleled dedication and commitment of our University family that the institution has achieved this most important milestone. We remained more focused than ever to establish Claflin University as one of the premier undergraduate teaching and research institutions in the world.”
SACS' Commission on Colleges reviews Claflin's policies and academic programs every 10 years to ensure quality and compliance with stringent standards for the education of students. A SACS committee visited campus last April for an on-site visit and found the Orangeburg institution to be in full compliance without need for any recommendations.
An essential cog to the SACS reaffirmation is the development of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is a course of action designed to address a specific issue critical to student learning. Claflin's QEP is called “Panther STEPS (Students in Transition Engaged and Prepared for Success)”. It will improve student achievement for first-year students.
“Panther STEPS is a transformation plan that will enhance the teaching and learning ambience on campus,” said Dr. Zia Hasan, vice president for planning, assessment, and information services.
Hasan, who chaired the SACS Steering Committee on campus, said the clean bill of health from the accrediting agency will allow the University to focus on major upcoming initiatives. He noted the reaffirmation from SACS demonstrates the strength of the University in all areas.
Over the next five years, Panther STEPS is set to take a multi-faceted approach to heightening freshmen grades and retention rates by enhancing entry level English and math courses, creating two freshman orientation classes, engaging students in community service and service learning and better preparing them for academic success. Panther STEPS will launch in fall 2012.