CVCC Put on Probation by Accrediting Agency

Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Daniel Heffner

Lynchburg, VA- An accreditation agency has placed Central Virginia Community College on probation. The agency is giving the college one year to make some changes. If CVCC does not meet the agency's standards, they could lose their accreditation.

CVCC President Doctor John Capps says he is confident the college will emerge from this. The college already has some new initiatives in place to fix this problem.

Students were more than nervous to hear that the term was being used to describe CVCC.

It sounds pretty bad," said Michael Spence, a student at CVCC.

"I don't feel too good about that knowing that I am getting an education here," said Jacob Almond, a student at CVCC.

Capps has fielded a lot of concerns like this. He says students should not worry about their degrees or their education.

"The probationary status that we're enduring right now is in no way a reflection of the quality of our programs or our faculty," said Capps.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges handed down the probation. The agency cited the college for not evaluating their educational programs and student progress.

The college risks losing its accreditation if they don't improve, and that could affect how students get funding.

"The Department of Education normally does not distribute federal financial aid funds to the students of an institution that is not accredited," said Dr. Tom Benberg, senior V.P. and chief of staff at the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

It could also affect whether students can transfer their credits from CVCC to other institutions. Capps says the college has already implemented a new program called Focus 14 to make sure this doesn't happen.

"We are going to be bolstering our leadership, in the area of academic assessment. We're going to be reviewing our assessment plan, and reviewing our assessment process," said Capps.

The accrediting agency says CVCC has made a lot of improvements in the past year. That is why they gave the college accreditation status with good cause. A special committee will visit CVCC in next spring to make sure they are up to compliance.