Texas Southmost College (TSC) was awarded reaffirmation of accreditation by its regional accrediting agency earlier this month, certifying that the college is achieving its mission of transforming communities through innovative learning opportunities. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) reaffirmed TSC’s accreditation through 2030, at their meeting on Sept. 3, 2020.
“Accreditation from SACSCOC is the most important designation TSC can achieve for our community,” said TSC President Jesús Roberto Rodríguez. “Not only does it attest to the high quality of programs and services we offer, regional accreditation is required by the Department of Education to receive federal funding—including financial aid for students.”
Earning accreditation means students may transfer course credits to other colleges and universities because they are taught to the same rigorous standards as other institutions across the nation. While course transferability is important for on-campus students, it is also critical for the 4,500 students enrolled in TSC’s dual credit courses through their local high schools. TSC is authorized to offer programs at 30 off-campus instructional sites across Cameron and Willacy counties.
The SACSCOC committees examined 15 categories of TSC’s operations to assess quality including the college’s integrity, governing board, facilities, student achievement, and academic and student support services. The process to earn reaffirmation of accreditation spanned two years, from conducting a comprehensive self-study to hosting a site visit, and involved a collective effort from students, faculty, staff, board members, and community stakeholders, such as TSC’s K-12 partners.
“TSC met or exceeded all core requirements and standards across the board, meaning that no additional monitoring is required,” said Oscar Hernandez, Executive Director of Institutional Research and Compliance. “The SACSCOC on-site committee was very thorough, meeting with faculty, administration, staff and students. They wanted to understand what the students’ experience is like and how transparently the college operates. TSC earned the best outcome possible, with our accreditation reaffirmed for 10 years, through 2030.”
Texas Southmost College, which will be celebrating its 95th anniversary next year, was the first accredited community college in Texas.
“The most recent reaffirmation is a testament to the college community’s commitment to excellence,” said TSC Board of Trustees Chair Adela Garza. “TSC has established a legacy of excellence since it was founded in 1926. Reaffirmation of accreditation verifies that the entire college community is dedicated to providing students with an affordable, high-quality education and employers with a well-trained workforce.”