Last year Chipola Junior College shortened its name to Chipola College and added several four-year bachelor degree programs. Sounds simple enough, but the changes were significant.
Chipola staff met the challenge head-on, but state officials haven't quite held up their end of the deal.
While schools like Chipola College are trying to provide opportunities such as four-year degrees to students, politicians in Tallahassee are still trying to figure out how to fund these new programs.
"When we sent the application into SACS; it was during legislative session, and in the budget we had a specific amount of dollars that we had been assured we would get that we had asked for to start the program."
Chipola was given a third of what they thought they would have to start their baccalaureate program, but the school had already submitted its application for accreditation with a projected budget, causing an integrity issue that lead to their current status of probation.
Kitty Myers, the VP of the program, says, "There will be another site visit in September and then once again in December. The SACS committee at their annual convention will vote. We [have] every confidence that the probation will be removed."
Students here don't seem to feel that the school is any danger of losing its accreditation.
Joshua Grace, a Chipola student, says, "I don't see it's much of a problem, because you go through the process pretty much every year. I don't think we'll have a problem going through it next time."
Andrianne Collins, a Chipola student, says, "I think that the SACS judgment is bad. Chipola is a good school. It should grade a school. Hopefully they can get this cleared up in the near future."
Chipola's probation does not affect academics, financial aid or the transferability of credits. Chipola College was founded in 1947 and has been accredited since 1957.