TCU resubmits a slimmed down Purple Passport plan for reaccreditation

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    TCU submitted a revised quality enhancement plan and other documents in August that administrators said they believe will satisfy the reaccreditation requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Every ten years, the university must renew its SACS accreditation to ensure eligibility for federal funds, including the Pell Grant. TCU did not meet four of the 98 standards set by SACS during the accreditation visit in April, and was required to submit information and reports on those four standards by Aug. 28.

    Purple Passport was a program designed to fulfill the university’s quality enhancement plan (QEP) requirement. It serves to improve the quality of student experience and to create learning opportunities, said Edward McNertney, head of the committee for the revamping of Purple Passport.

    But the review committee was worried the original plan was too broad and underdeveloped, McNertney said.

    “Their main concern was how we were going to get it in place, implemented and get events by the assessment deadline,” he said.

    The new QEP is called “Discovering Global Citizenship: Building the Foundation for Comprehensive Internationalization” said Jane Kucko, director of the center for international studies.

    The new QEP has a narrower focus and includes and expands several programs that were already active on campus, Kucko said.

    John Singleton, implementing chair for student affairs, said he was working on launching the website, which should become active soon.

    “They asked us to scale back,” Singleton said. “There are two things you can do in a case like this, you could be mad or you could ask yourself how do we want to do what we want within their parameters.”

    The other two standards the university has not yet cleared concern faculty qualification and research guidelines.

    In order to teach a class, professors must have the appropriate educational degree or a certain amount of experience in that field, McNertney said.

    It is common for SACS to ask for clarification of professors’ experience levels to ensure they meet qualification standards, and there are several TCU faculty members whose experience is still under review, he said.

    The university must also provide clearer statements about what faculty and students using research grants at the university are expected to accomplish, he said.

    SACS will review the submitted material and deliver its decision at its general conference in December, McNertney said.