Associate Degree Commission: Accepting the Challenge and Embracing the Virtual World

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused mayhem and disrupted the way we conduct business. Whether we are administrators or faculty, we have to think of innovative ways to do our jobs. Colleges and universities have moved all classes online, some through the summer and even beyond. It just fits for ACBSP and its Associate Degree Board of Commissioners to make adjustments as well.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has altered our plans, it has not stopped us from doing our job.

Schools had worked hard all year to turn in their self-study, status, and quality assurance reports. These reports had to be evaluated. While the Covid-19 pandemic has altered our plans, it has not stopped us from doing our job. On April 20 and 21, we held our first completely virtual board meeting. The meeting went exceptionally well. All submitted reports were reviewed, and decisions rendered. I use this opportunity to thank all our commissioners for their dedication and hard work during these extraordinary times.

The Associate Degree Board of Commissioners meeting virtually to ensure spring accreditation decisions move forward, uninterrupted by shelter-in-place orders.

For the first time, we virtually welcomed our newest board member during an online meeting. Dr. Merilyn Hannah, Chair of Business and Information Technologies at Wallace Community College (Selma, Alabama), joined the Associate Degree Board to complete the unexpired term vacated by Ms. Christine Roumbanis who retired last year. Welcome to the Board, Marilyn!

While reports of online meeting exhaustion are beginning to surface, our Associate Degree Commissioners flew through our two-day board meeting like champions. We reviewed 21 self-studies, quality assurance, and status reports. Planning and preparation are currently underway for our first ACBSP Virtual Conference 2020, which will take place from June 22-24. Registration will open the first week of May.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, ACBSP has engaged in efforts to accommodate our members. For a limited time, many of our paid workshops are now being offered to our members for free. For our members seeking answers to accreditation questions, and questions about membership, benefits and events, a “Coffee & Conversation” virtual chat is being provided every Wednesday at 10:00 AM-CDT. During this chat, the accreditation team and some commissioners are available to answer member’s questions as they relate to the accreditation process and standards. I encourage our members to take advantage of these complimentary resources.

I hope to see you (virtually) in June for ACBSP Virtual Conference 2020.