El Paso Community College on warning status, accreditation at risk

El Paso Community College on warning status, accreditation at risk

POSTED: Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 10:45pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 10:46pm

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has placed El Paso Community College on a 'warning' status because the institution isn't meeting certain requirements.

According to SACS Commission on Colleges, EPCC doesn't have the required number of full-time teachers, isn't properly monitoring how well their departments are doing, and needs a better plan for how to evaluate those departments.   

"We have 12 months to work on these different areas," said Dr. William Serrata, President of EPCC.

If EPCC doesn't correct the problems within this 12 month warning period, SACS will give them a second year to work on it. If the problems continue after two years, EPCC could lose their accreditation.

According to Dr. Serrata, EPCC needs to hire between 23 to 30 more teachers to meet SACS' standards. Student tuition will increase in order to pay for hiring those new teachers.

EPCC Board of Trustees approved a $5 per credit hour tuition increase in May, that will go into effect in August for the upcoming school year in September -- meaning students will pay about $15 more per course.

Local property taxes, which is a second means of funding the college, could also increase between $6 to $9 a year, based on a home worth $100,000.

"The Board is committed to providing the best education possible for our students, while at the same time keeping tuition fees, as well as taxes, as low as possible," said Dr. Serrata.

SACS Commission on Colleges reviews EPCC every ten years. The college is up for another review in June 2014.

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