At the ESCC College Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday, July 13, Vice President for Academic, Student & Workforce Education Dr. Patrick Tompkins announced that Your Eastern Shore Community College has become fully reaccredited.
“It’s been a difficult journey for everyone, these last couple of years,” said ESCC President Dr. James Shaeffer. “In the midst of undergoing an extremely rigorous reaccreditation process, the College was also subjected to a state-mandated Refresh, accompanied by a large side order of remote instruction and services during a pandemic.”
All post-secondary institutions in the United States must be accredited by an independent body in order for students to be eligible for federal financial aid. Additionally, most other colleges and many employers do not recognize certificates and degrees from institutions that are not accredited.
ESCC’s accrediting agency is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
(SACSCOC), often regarded as one of the toughest accreditors. “It’s a big deal,” said Judith Grier, Coordinator of Research, Planning, and Assessment and the college’s liaison with SACSCOC. “The process takes years to prepare for and complete and involves everyone at the college, including students.”
In June of 2019, the college was reaccredited but was required to submit a Monitoring Report in 2020 to further demonstrate compliance with the accrediting standard related to student support services. However, in July of 2019 the college significantly reorganized its operations and personnel in response to a Virginia Community College System mandate to “refresh” the college to ensure its continued relevancy to the Shore community. Areas of particular need were to rein in costs and revitalize academic and workforce education programs.