ACCC board approves merger

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Alabama Community College System’s board of trustees recently took another step toward combining three south Alabama campuses to form Coastal Alabama Community College.

The board voted to approve the consolidation of the administration and programs of Alabama Southern Community College in Monroeville, Faulkner State Community College in Bay Minette and Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton. The vote follows approval from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education on Sept. 9.

The decision is ultimately subject to the approval of the Southern Association of Colleges Commission on Colleges.

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Jimmy Baker, acting chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, said in a press release, bringing these campuses together reflects the commitment of the system’s board of to ensure that community colleges operate as efficiently as possible and are best-equipped to serve students’ needs.

“With Coastal Alabama Community College, we are combining two of the state’s smallest community colleges with a larger campus to create an institution of more than 7,000 students, all of whom will benefit as a result,” Baker said. “Money not spent on duplicated administrative functions can be used to expand course offerings for transfer students, to hire expert faculty in more technical fields, and to respond to an ever-changing marketplace to make sure our students get the skills they need to succeed.”

Al Thompson, the vice chairman of the board of trustees, said the process succeeded because the three campuses and their communities worked together and put the needs of students first.

“This was an instance where three communities recognized they could be stronger together than they were apart,” Thompson said. “They realized that a united front would provide students more opportunities, and they got to work to make it happen.”