AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with Amarillo College announced that the university had received an “unprecedented endorsement,” after receiving what amounts to a perfect score for its on-site visit on Thursday.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), officials detailed, conducted an on-site visit to AC which resulted in the committee fully endorsing the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is the “cornerstone of AC’s reaccreditation efforts.”

“I’m proud of our entire team, whose commitment to success clearly paid off in a huge way,” AC President Russell Lowery-Hart said. “I’ve never worked at an institution, or participated in an accreditation visit to another school, where there were zero recommendations. This speaks to the quality of our institution and the people who work here.”

Officials noted that colleges and universities must undergo an “intensive reaccreditation evaluation” every 10 years to maintain national accreditation through SACSCOC.

Tina Babb, AC’s director of institutional effectiveness, pulled together representatives earlier this year to prepare a preliminary SACSCOC compliance report for the on-site visit.

“What impressed me most about our team at Amarillo College was how they responded to the challenge,” Babb said. “They weren’t in it just to check to boxes and move on to something else; they were truly motivated to use this process to make actual institutional improvements.”

Babb continued, “AC rallied around the reaccreditation process to make the College better for the students and community we serve, and that’s how you come away with zero recommendations for the first time in the history of our school.”

The QEP is an important and mandatory part of the reaccreditation process, according to officials. AC’s QEP, called “Smart Start to Finish,” focuses on student engagement and incorporates a framework to guide students throughout their time at AC.

Officials added that “retention” is the goal of the QEP, with Babb explaining that official reaffirmation of accreditation from SACSCOC is anticipated to occur in the summer of 2023.