LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Representatives with The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges were on the campus of Angelina College Wednesday to interview staff members about the progress the college has made while being on a year-long probation.
Dr. Michael Simon, the president of Angelina College, confirmed a committee was on campus in reference to an ongoing plan by the college to correct mistakes made in their accreditation process last year. SACSCOC placed the college on probation last June 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 college has prepared a first monitoring report to address the issues that were raised as part of our reaffirmation process," Simon said. "We have sent that report in. This team has reviewed it, and now, they will meet with individuals on campus to talk about what is in the report and to determine the level of compliance."
Simon said the school has taken several steps to make sure the mistake does not happen again that include new training for all staff and new policies adopted by the board of trustees.
In a previous story on the issue, former AC spokesman Gary Stallard said 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," Simon said. "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.
The college will find out in June what will happen at the end of their one-year probation.
"I have met with the staff and told them although this is an unfortunate circumstance, we will come out of this a better institution than we were when we started," Simon said. "I really believe that's the case. Our faculty and staff have taken it very seriously. Our trustees have taken it very seriously. We've done what we need to do to not only address but to make sure that something like this will never happen again."