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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

SACS board gives positive review

Source: Troy City Schools
Source: Troy City Schools

Though Guilford College is far from perfect, it is doing well according to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

A few weeks ago, the SACS review board came to Guilford for an inspection.

“We had about 10 representatives of SACS, who came as a team,” said President Jane Fernandes. “Overall, it went very, very well. I’m confident we will be reaffirmed for accreditation.”

SACS is an organization that evaluates every educational institution in the South, from preschools to colleges, to make sure they meet the national standards. Every couple of years, they review Guilford to make sure it is continuing to meet their standards.

There are 95 standards every college has to meet in order to be accredited.

“It’s everything from finances to how to we award transfer credit to do we have the right staff and faculty in different areas of the College,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Beth Rushing.

SACS also evaluated Guilford’s Quality Enhancement Plan, “Speak Up: Unifying Presentation for an Inclusive, Connected World,” since the College’s QEP and integrity are the first things SACS must assess.

The goals of the QEP are to enable students to better perform in public speaking and to create a positive attitude toward the activity. It is meant to build on the skills already being taught at Guilford.

“College graduates frequently lack communication skills,” said Rushing. “We felt like it was both something we could build on from what we’ve done before and it was something the students needed.”

Faculty will also need to learn to create assignments geared toward the new QEP through workshops that will take place over the summer.

“What that might mean for us, as faculty, are some more directive workshops and training opportunities,” said Jill Peterfeso, chair and assistant professor of religious studies.

“We would come together as a group to talk about ways to get students speaking in class through oral presentations, but not just oral presentations.”

Although the QEP is called “Speak Up,” students will learn to communicate through other methods as well.

“Freeing your voice is the key thing,” said Peterfeso. “Sometimes that’s through speaking, and sometimes that’s through writing. There are so many different ways to engage in public discourse.”

One of the things SACS checked was whether students knew about the QEP. Professors were instructed to tell their students about the QEP, and Office of Communications & Marketing Multimedia Content Producer Ashley Gilmer created a video featuring several students talking about the QEP.

“If we’re going to do this project, we want to make sure that people know about it,” said Chair and Professor of Foreign Languages Dave Limburg. “We’re going to start (preparing for the new QEP) in the spring.”

The last QEP was about writing.

“When we made writing our QEP, we had already planned to move on to public speaking after that,” said Fernandes. “So they liked that we had a plan and that we implemented it.”

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Nicole Zelniker
Nicole Zelniker, Editor-in-Chief
English major, Environmental Studies and Communication minors
Nicole loves newspapers, social justice and Harry Potter.

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