Ogeechee Technical College was notified Thursday that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has granted full regional accreditation to the college.
Years of work by Ogeechee Tech culminated in a simple phone call as the commission notified Dr. Dawn Cartee, the president of Ogeechee Tech, that the accrediting body's Board of Trustees approved initial accreditation following a lengthy process of documented compliance with the requirements and standards of The Principles of Accreditation.
"Obtaining SACSCOC accreditation is one of the most significant accomplishments in the history of Ogeechee Technical College," Cartee said in a news release issued Saturday. "This will open additional doors for our students and provide them with a more seamless transition to other institutions, should they choose to further their education."
Ogeechee Technical College joins more than 800 other regionally accredited colleges and universities, including University System of Georgia schools such as Georgia Southern University, University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech. All schools accredited by SACS Commission on Colleges are held to a high standard of integrity and academic rigor.
Ogeechee Technical College began the process of full regional accreditation when it became an official candidate institution on Dec. 9, although a major portion of the preparation and work was conducted prior to that official candidacy date. The accreditation is retroactive to Jan. 1.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees.
The agency examines college operations and makes recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of the institution by ensuring that the college meets standards established by the higher education community that addresses the needs of society and students.
Ogeechee Technical College has been accredited by the Council on Occupational Educationfor many years, but the college began the process to achieve SACS accreditation several years ago. Regional accreditation, such as the SACS accreditation, is the standard by which institutions of higher learning are measured across the nation.
"Our faculty and staff, students, local board of directors, foundation trustees and numerous community members have all worked to achieve this accreditation," Cartee said. "We could not have reached this goal without their help."
OTC Local Board of Directors Chairman Roger Moore of Evans County commended the faculty and staff on the accreditation efforts, saying: "It is an honor to serve on the board of such a wonderful institution. Ogeechee Technical College makes such a positive difference in the lives of students and those served by the college's graduates already, but the SACSCOC accreditation will open the door to even more powerful results. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to personally thank every member of the faculty and staff for the sacrificial work that was done to help bring this accreditation to reality."