LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The regional association which accredits schools across the southern United States has placed Angelina College on probation for issues with integrity and "institutional effectiveness," after school officials used language from another institution's documents and signed off on it as their own.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges took the action on Friday.
SACSCOC spokeswoman Pamela Cravey said she could not release details on the report, but a more comprehensive disclosure would be released on Thursday.
According to the SACSCOC website, the board denied reaffirmation, continued accreditation and placed Angelina College on probation for 12 months "for failure to comply with Principle 1.1 (Integrity) and Comprehensive Standard (Institutional effectiveness: Educational programs) of the Principles of Accreditation."
According to AC spokesman Gary Stallard, administrators used boilerplate language from another institution's reaffirmation document as a guideline when writing its reaffirmation self-study. However, they mistakenly left information from the other college's document, including that institution's name and some of its academic parameters, in the report. They then signed the document, stating it was their original work.
"We had permission to use the document," said AC President Dr. Michael Simon. "A lot of the documents use similar language, and we were looking to make sure we had it right. During the editing process it was overlooked."
Simon said he did not want to name the institution he borrowed the letter from because he did not want to drag their name through the mud.
"The College takes this matter very seriously, and is committed to resolving these concerns so that our reaffirmation will be approved at the end of the probationary period," Simon said.
Simon wanted the students to know that nothing will change with the way classes are run.
"This does not change the quality of the institution, and the hard work that faculty and staff put into making this a great institution," Simon said.
Simon does not expect their to be any consequences for the people involved in the mistake.
"None of the employees or administrators involved directly with this situation are still working here," Simon said. "I don't tell the board what to do, but I don't anticipate that they will be taking any action."