FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2009
After announcing that Sherman College has demonstrated “a true commitment to the spirit of peer review,” the special committee of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) shared its findings with Sherman President Dr. Jon Schwartzbauer and his administrative team at the conclusion of the SACS site team visit on April 30.
The site team found no areas of recommendation for Sherman College and noted the progress the college has made during the past year and its opportunity for growth in the future.
“This is the best possible outcome we could have at this point,” said Sherman President Jon Schwartzbauer, D.C., of the exit interview. “By sharing that they have no recommendations in any areas, the site team has affirmed that we’ve done everything in our power to make positive changes and improvements at the college. The accreditation process itself has made Sherman College a stronger institution.”
But, Schwartzbauer says, the work doesn’t stop there. “We are committed to continuous improvement. While it’s wonderful that we rose to the challenge and met the standards that our accrediting agencies have for us, we won’t simply stop there. Being a great institution means going beyond expectations and creating something truly exceptional. As president, and as an alumnus, I know Sherman College has that potential, and with the team we have in place at the college, I’m confident and truly excited about our future and our vision.”
Schwartzbauer held a college-wide assembly on May 1 to share the good news with students, faculty and staff. But while the site team’s news is encouraging, that group alone does not have the final say in Sherman’s accreditation.
The site team will draft a written report of its findings that will be fact-checked by the college, and, when approved by both parties, will be sent to SACS’ Committee on Compliance and Reports. Compliance and Reports will then make its recommendation to the Executive Council. Following Executive Council review, the Commission of Colleges will make a decision on the college’s reaffirmation of accreditation. The Commission meets in June, and Sherman College expects to receive written notification of its decision in July.
The SACS Commission on Colleges had continued Sherman College’s accreditation but placed it on probation last year at its June meeting. At that time, the Commission wanted to allow the college more time to demonstrate continuous cultural change at the institution. This allowed college administrators and faculty time to continue and fully implement the plan of action and further enhance the improvements already underway.
The April 2009 site team was sent to follow-up on the set of recommendations made for the college last year. During its three-day visit, the team met with the President Schwartzbauer, members of the Board of Trustees, and college administrators, faculty, staff and students.
The visiting peer review team included the Sherman College’s Commission liaison Dr. Joseph Silver, as well as top-level administrators from Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Marymount University, Mercer University, and South University, and the president of Washington and Lee University.
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