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Clearwater Receives SACS Reaffirmation

On Tuesday, December 7, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) announced that it had approved reaffirmation of accreditation for the next ten years for Clearwater Christian College. This continuing recognition by an external body of peer reviewers demonstrates the value and sustainability of our distinctively Christ-centered liberal arts institution.

CCC President Stratton responded, “We are grateful to have completed our third reaffirmation of our regional accreditation with SACS-COC. Our students will continue to benefit greatly from our accreditation status as it will open doors into graduate schools and a variety of different professions across the country and around the world. We praise the Lord for His help in maintaining this vital asset of Clearwater Christian College.”

Once a decade, the institution conducts a comprehensive self-study in preparation for its compliance report for SACS. The compliance report is a certification that the college operates in accordance with the standards and requirements in a wide variety of higher education management and academic areas. Clearwater submitted the compliance report in September, 2009, which was reviewed by an off-site review committee in November, 2009. CCC responded to areas of concern in January, 2010 by submitting a document called the Focused Report.

In addition to the Focused Report, Clearwater also submitted a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The QEP is a five-year strategy to enhance student learning in an area selected by the college. For the QEP, CCC is emphasizing critical thinking to help students recognize a given issue, evaluate the issue, and then develop the best response or solution to the issue.

The On-site Review Committee visited campus in February, 2010, to follow up on any compliance issues not resolved by the Focused Report and to discuss the QEP in detail with selected faculty, staff, and students. Several weeks after the site visit, the On-site Review Committee prepared its report, to which CCC addressed any final issues. Clearwater’s final response was sent to SACS in August. Last, the Compliance and Reports Committee evaluated the On-site Committee’s report and CCC’s final response before the SACS Commission voted on an appropriate decision. Accreditation decisions for all SACS institutions facing reaffirmation were announced publicly at the annual meeting this week.

CCC received its initial SACS accreditation in 1984, followed by reaffirmations in 1989, 1999, and now in 2010. Two years ago, SACS approved Clearwater to begin offering graduate level degrees. For more information about our online graduate program, please click on the following link: Master of Education in Educational Leadership.