Angelina College taking steps to prevent future probation periods

Angelina College taking steps to prevent future probation periods
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

Less than a month after being put on probation, Angelina COllege President Dr. Michael Simon outlined steps the school is taking to make sure they do not have any more probation periods under the The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

In their monthly trustees meeting, Simon told the board the school is creating the Integrity and SACSCOC Compliance standing committee.

"The committee will not be writting any reports to SACSCOC," Simon said. "They will be there to be a final set of eyes to make sure everything is correct in the paperwork we send off. It will be a final check for us."

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."

Simon also said the school will be writing a monitoring report to adress the issues that got the school in trouble with the acreditor.

"I want the report to me by December to make sure we meet the deadline we have been put under," Simon said.

Simon said deans as well as presidents and vice-presidents of departments will undergo a workshop training session that will address policy changes.

"We will also create a 5 year timeline to make sure we are okay at the half way point of the 10 year report period," Simon said.

Simon said all academic programs are undergoing an audit at this time and that better documentation on how professors and others are making their work better.

Simon said despite the probation, the school has not seen any major drop in numbers that could be attributed to the probation.

"We have gotten calls but those have calmed down," Simon said. " We still get a concerned parent every once in a while, but I think the media has been fair with how they have presented what happened and explained it well enough for people to understand."

Simon said he will be giving progress reports every month on the issues.

According to AC spokesman Gary Stallard, the probation occured because 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."