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By ALISA THOMAS

Staff Writer

Phase two of the university's reaccredidation process by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, also known as SACS, is under way.

Dr. Jo Ann Dauzat, co-vice chair of the reaccredidation committee and dean of the College of Education, said the purpose of reaccredidation is to guarantee the programs offered meet or exceed national guidelines.

Chairman of the committee, Dr. Terry McConathy, is enthusiastic about the reaccredidation process.

"This is a very exciting process, which supplies an opportunity for Tech to continue its focus on achieving excellence," said McConathy, dean of the Graduate School and University Research and a professor of English.

Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau; Dr. Jim King, vice president for Student Affairs; McConathy; and Dauzat are Tech's reaccredidation committee members.

Although SACS is the main commission for reaccredidation for Southern schools, Tech's committee must send its reaccredidation information to a sub-commission of SACS, the Commission on Colleges.

The committee began the reaccredidation process in June 2003 by sending an expanded annual institutional profile, a profile that includes current information in the areas of management and governance, enrollment trends, financial indicators and program location and delivery, to the Commission on Colleges. The committee is now working on part two, the compliance certification, which is due August 2004.

The SACS process consists of eight components, which are explained in detail on the SACS Web site, http://www.sacs.org.

Dauzat said she sees the reaccredidation process as a way of including all supporters of the university.

"The process seeks to involve many individuals from our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders in reviewing all elements of our work in light of national standards and guidelines," Dauzat said.

With submitting the compliance certification, the committee's report must undergo an off-site peer review.

Some students are aware of the many efforts the university takes in ensuring the satisfaction of students.

"Tech goes out of its way to make sure that students are satisfied and they are definitely moving forward with development," Lindsi Liles, a sophomore speech major, said.

According to the SACS booklet, "After being reviewed by the off-site committee, the university must provide verification to the commission that they have followed the 77 core requirements, addressed the comprehensive standards and complied with the local, state and federal requirements."

McConathy said she sees the reaccredidation process as reassurance that the university follows all rules.

"It's essential to students that we attain reaffirmation to do business, and it demonstrates that we are complying with all federal, state and local requirements," McConathy said.

The last component of the reaccredidation process is the quality enhancement plan, which is due January 2005. Tech will then have 10 years to start compiling information for the next reaccredidation.


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