GGC accreditation reaffirmed by SACSCOC

Students abroad in Barcelona, Spain.

Georgia Gwinnett College students pause for a group photo during a global civic engagement trip to Barcelona, Spain, earlier this spring. 

At its June meeting, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees reaffirmed Georgia Gwinnett College’s 10-year accreditation. 
“This is a proud moment in the history of Georgia Gwinnett College,” said Stas Preczewski, GGC president. “This reaffirmation demonstrates that the college complies with SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation and meets the organization’s high standards. This accreditation is a testament to the teamwork of our faculty and staff, and their commitment to both academic excellence and student success.”
GGC, which expects an enrollment of about 11,000 students in August, was first accredited by SACSCOC in 2009. An initial accreditation is valid for five years, and subsequent accreditation reaffirmations are valid for 10 years. 
The process of accreditation takes about two years and involves representatives of every college division in preparing documentation and materials required for SACSCOC review. Eight representatives of SACSCOC spent three days at Georgia Gwinnett last fall for a site visit related to the process. 
For reaffirmation, the organization also requires that institutions develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a program designed to enhance the learning environment or student instruction. 
“This has truly been a team effort, particularly in light of our choice of QEP for the reaffirmation process,” said Lois C. Richardson, acting senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost. 
The college’s QEP initiative is “Internationalization of the Curriculum: Engaging the World to Develop Global Citizens.” The QEP required college-wide research and planning, and the involvement of many students, faculty and staff. The plan aligns with GGC’s overall mission to produce graduates who are prepared to anticipate and respond effectively to an uncertain and changing world, and it has been strongly embraced by the college.
“With the QEP, students have the opportunity to take courses containing substantial international content, which provide them with broader global awareness and perspectives,” Richardson said. “Students who take advantage of these opportunities will be better prepared for the global environment they will enter after graduation.”
GGC students may also earn a Global Studies Certification by taking special internationalized courses, demonstrating proficiency in a language other than their native language, as well as completing a study-abroad program or a course offered in an international location.
“Beyond the campus, the QEP has positive consequences for the local area as well as the region and state. Gwinnett County is the second largest county and one of the most diverse in Georgia. It has emerged as a regional economic powerhouse and has been a leader in the Atlanta region’s job creation for over the past two years,” said Renee Byrd-Lewis, vice president for Advancement. “Bachelor-degree graduates with cultural competencies and a global view is exactly what many businesses require. GGC is well positioned to fill this need.” 
Georgia Gwinnett College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate degrees.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of Georgia Gwinnett College.
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