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Tech gets clean slate

This item originally appeared in the April 21, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

The university received a recommended "clean slate" for the first time in its history from an on-site review committee during an April 5-7 visit by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

That rating means the university received no recommendations from the committee for changes that need to be made in the way the university is run and that the university is well on its way to being reaccredited when the report is forwarded to SACS headquarters in December.

To be accredited is, in effect, to be financially funded by the federal government. Without accreditation, Tech students would not be able to even apply for state financial aid let alone receive it through the university.

The SACS committee evaluated each department of the university, ensuring the efficiency of the department and the utilization of each program within it. The team split up to meet with certain faculty members and interviewed them to make sure they are meeting the standards detailed in a compliance review. This evaluation occurs every ten years.

The commission was able to assess the university with the help of Dr. Terry McConathy, the vice president and dean of the graduate school, who acted as the accreditation liaison and chair of the SACS self-study. The process took two years of McConathy's preparing documents such as the compliance review that was submitted last September and coordinating people and departments for the evaluation.

Other integral administrators who helped smooth the process of the evaluations are vice chairs Dr. Jo Ann Dauzat, the dean of the College of Education, and Dr. Jim King, the vice president of student affairs.

Kimberly Ludwig, the Student Government Association president and a senior business management and entrepreneurship major, also played an important part by being a member of the SACS steering committee and helping to oversee the compliance review portion and formation of the student achievement center that should be completed May 2006. The steering committee was made up of seven focus groups with at least three students in each group.

The university is constantly being assessed to see if it is doing the things it promises, such as building the new student achievement center to enhance students' opportunities for success in college. Time after time, when students ask for better ways to learn, the university's administration finds a way to conform to requests. The student achievement center will give students a better way to study, better advising opportunities and a place to study with friends that is easy for everyone to get to. Biomedical engineering students and micromanufacturing students will soon be able to collaborate in the new Biomedical Engineering Building.

Tech's administration is complying. Are you?

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