Lord Fairfax Community College re-accredited

Kimberly Blosser is Lord Fairfax Community College's next president. Rich Cooley/Daily

Lord Fairfax Community College has achieved re-accreditation for meeting standards in education.

School officials have announced the school’s accreditation was reaffirmed officially on July 3 when the college received a letter from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The association is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and serves as the regional body for the accreditation of higher educational institutions granting degrees in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Its mission is to “assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of member institutions,” the school stated in a prepared statement.

Reaccreditation with no additional reporting was recommended for the school resulting from a three-day visit to the college by a committee last October. The school first achieved accreditation in 1972, said spokesperson Sally Voth.

“This is wonderful news for LFCC,” Kim Blosser, president of the college, said in a prepared statement.

“This process has truly been a college-wide effort – from preparing the compliance certification documentation, to developing our QEP and educating the college community on it, to consistently maintaining the high standards required throughout our entire institution,” Blosser added.

Accreditation means the school has the authority to grant degrees from appropriate agencies. It also means it has an appropriate governing board that oversees the school finances as well as a chief executive officer who oversee            s both education as well as school administration. It means the school faculty is qualified and receiving ongoing professional development. The school also had to provide documentation for 100 compliance standards, Voth said.

The accreditation status allows for the school to offer financial aid to its students, Voth said.

Lord Fairfax was required to develop a quality enhancement plan (QEP) that could be incorporated into the campus community and that addressed at least one issue related to institutional improvement. After extensively seeking input from faculty, staff and students on suggested topics, information literacy was chosen, according to the statement.

LFCC’s “Searching for Truth in the Digital Age: A Quality Enhancement Plan for Information Literacy” focused on training students to gain proficiency in finding, understanding and evaluating information, and then to become adept at applying, integrating, creating and sharing information.

Information literacy skills were incorporated into various classes, the importance of information literacy was stressed through signage around campus, professional development activities promoted improving information literacy, and the topic was addressed during the annual Student Research Symposium.

“We are bombarded with information, not all of which is factual,” Voth said.

School administration wants students, faculty, and staff to be able to think critically, assess the information and tell what is legitimate, she said.

The reaccreditation process takes place every 10 years, with an interim report due after five years.