SACSCOC Board of Trustees reaffirms Del Mar College’s accreditation!
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges votes to reaffirm DMC with no recommendations for follow-up action
Article by Melinda Eddleman
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Del Mar College’s institutional accreditation is secure for the next decade. College officials received news that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees reaffirmed accreditation for the next 10 years. The College’s next reaffirmation is scheduled for 2031.
Additionally, the Commission had no recommendations for any follow-up actions related to the reaffirmation. Del Mar College was required to demonstrate the extent of its compliance with 74 SACSCOC standards, which are based on best practices for institutional excellence in higher education.
While we were optimistic that the College would receive a positive outcome from the SACSCOC Board of Trustees’ vote, it’s a welcome and significant achievement considering the events during the past year and a half. SACSCOC accreditation is critical to our ability to fully function, and I congratulate everyone who played a role in our reaccreditation efforts, large and small. This effort was truly college-wide, and Del Mar College is a stronger institution because of everyone’s work.
The College’s reaffirmed accreditation is the second under President Escamilla’s leadership.
As part of the reaffirmation process, the College was required to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that focuses on a key aspect of student success. Del Mar College’s QEP, GPS: Goals + Planning = Success, focuses on the College’s advising efforts and strives to improve student success by tying the Quality Enhancement Plan to its Guided Pathways and Project SENDA (Students Engaged in Direct Advising) initiatives. These initiatives are designed to increase the number of certificates and degrees awarded, increase graduation rates, decrease the average time students take to earn their certificate or degree and encourage student persistence semester to semester.
Academic advising is an essential service that we offer to help students both find and stay on their educational pathways. Our Quality Enhancement Plan is integrated within the College’s Strategic Plan and is aligned with other strategic efforts to ensure maximum, long-term impact on student success.
The College’s QEP goals and strategies include:
- clarifying career goals by 1) updating the DMC website to structure programs into eight pathways and 2) promoting student use of career exploration tools,
- following consistent and effective advising practices by 1) certifying faculty and staff advisors through an online training course that incorporates advising best practices and 2) supporting faculty and staff through on-going professional development activities,
- improving student engagement by 1) requiring regular and on-going interaction between students and advisors and 2) providing support to students identified as at-risk of not persisting,
- strengthening transfer pathways by 1) creating student-friendly transfer plans with recommended course sequences and 2) implementing an advising checklist that includes transfer options, and
- utilizing innovative technology by 1) implementing an online Pathways Advising Module (degree audit and degree plan) and 2) supporting faculty, staff, and students through professional development and training opportunities.
Additionally, this November, Del Mar College will host a SACSCOC evaluation committee to finalize its membership as a Level II baccalaureate degree-granting institution. The committee will conduct interviews regarding the implementation of the Nurse Education Department’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree to verify that DMC continues to meet the requirements of a Level II institution.
“We look forward to another positive outcome,” noted President Escamilla, adding: “Overall, Del Mar College is experiencing a ‘Viking Proud’ moment, and the seal of approval from the SACSCOC Board of Trustees reflects the institution’s strength and integrity as we continue serving our communities into the future with total confidence.”
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.