The Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges has approved Palm Beach State College’s plans to provide its educational offerings at the school’s new Loxahatchee Groves campus.
The SACS approval is for five years — until 2020 — when Palm Beach State College will undergo its next institutional re-accreditation process.
“This approval acknowledges that we meet standards of academic quality,’’ said Dr. Roger Yohe, PBSC vice president of academic affairs. “We want to have quality programs, and having that external acknowledgment is very critical for our students and community.”
The approval marks one of the college’s last hurdles to opening the campus site, formally called the Dennis P. Gallon Campus in honor of the long-term president who retired in 2015 after 18 years.
Classes are set to begin Feb. 27.
As part of the approval for the campus, the board of trustees of the regional accrediting body reviewed everything from the degree programs, availability of library and learning resources and qualifications of the faculty to staffing levels, physical resources and financial support.
For the spring term, for which online registration is underway, the college is offering 64 sections of mostly 10-week general education courses that largely count toward the associate in arts degree.
Health sciences and technology, which are the focus of the first phase of the campus, will be offered after the spring term.
Those career programs include: the bachelor of science in nursing degree, which will start in the fall; and health information technology associate in science degree, health informatics specialist certificate, medical information coder/biller certificate and medical transcription technical diploma, which all start in the summer.