President's Charge - Steering Committee
September 28, 2009
The Steering Committee is responsible for overseeing and guiding the comprehensive processes that NOVA will go through in seeking reaffirmation of its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges (COC). Specifically, the Steering Committee will oversee and ensure the successful production of the two major documents to be submitted to SACS COC: the Compliance Certification Report and the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Through these documents, the college demonstrates its adherence to the Principle of Integrity, the Core Requirements, the Comprehensive Standards, and the Federal Requirements as set forth in the Principles of Accreditation.
Through the efforts of the Special Assistant for Compliance Certification and other college units, substantial progress has already been made with some portions of the Compliance Certification Report. A document management system (Compliance Assist) has been procured, and sample narratives and documentation for selected standards have already been drafted. The Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment has been working on those critical standards related to institutional effectiveness and student learning outcomes. The Office of Human Resources has been conducting a systematic audit of faculty credentials and has been working on the production of the required faculty rosters. The Steering Committee should review and approve all of this preliminary work, as well as develop a plan and schedule to ensure that all parts of the Compliance Certification Report are completed, thoroughly reviewed, and approved in advance of the specified date for submission (anticipated to be March 2011). If the committee identifies any issue that places the institution in questionable compliance or non-compliance with a core requirement, comprehensive standard, or federal requirement, that matter should immediately be brought to the attention of the President.
In conjunction with the Special Assistant for the Quality Enhancement Plan, the committee is asked to engage the college community in a broad-based consideration of possible topics for the QEP (CS 2.12). I would appreciate a preliminary report from the Steering Committee by January 29, 2010, identifying the major topics under consideration followed by a recommendation of the top two or three topics by March 31, 2010. The topics should be ones that significantly advance the institution in accord with the goals of its strategic plan.
The final approval for the topic will be made by the President and Administrative Council. The QEP must be completed and ready for submission to COC SACS by the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester.
In conjunction with the college’s liaison with the Commission (the Executive Vice President), the committee will coordinate all matters related to communications with COC SACS about reaffirmation. The committee is also asked to work with the President’s Office to make all arrangements for hosting the on-site review committee.
Throughout its work, the Steering Committee will need to have the support and active contributions from many across the college. All NOVA offices and personnel are expected to respond promptly and thoroughly to the committee’s requests for assistance. It is also expected that the Steering Committee will need to form various subcommittees, with membership drawn from the larger college community, to carry out specific parts of the charge.
All in all, the Steering Committee will ensure the completion of a smooth and successful process that culminates in the reaffirmation of accreditation for Northern Virginia Community College and in significant advancement for the quality of the college’s programs and operations.
The Steering Committee is expected to continue in operation through the time that the college receives official notification of its accreditation status from the Commission (expected in summer 2012).
Robert G. Templin, Jr