Southwest Tennessee Community College

November 26, 2003


Dr. Donald Fisher, executive director of the Center of Emphasis – Quality and Productivity at Southwest Tennessee Community College, will conduct a workshop on quality assessment December 6 at the annual conference of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in Nashville. This is the fourth year that Fisher has been asked to address SACS on the topic of educational excellence.

He will present a session entitled Baldrige on Campus: A Guide to Promote Educational Excellence, Identify Best Practices and Gauge Sustainable Results from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Opryland Hotel. The session provides an alternative assessment process using Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria. “It’s a self-assessment tool that will align Baldrige criteria for education with SACS compliance,” said Dr. Fisher. “It will also help with teamwork.”

Attending the conference will be college presidents, vice presidents, provosts and vice chancellors from such two and four-year institutions as Texas A&M, Calhoun Community College in Tennessee, Wallace State Community College in Alabama, Our Lady of the Holy Cross and The Institute for Psychological Science. “We are excited about the high level of attendance that this presentation has garnered,” said Fisher. “We believe that this program will assist two and four-year institutions with their accreditation processes.”

Dr. Fisher presented this workshop at the Georgia Oglethorpe Annual Conference in September, and he has worked with the chancellor and board of trustees of the Houston (Texas) Community College System, with 70,000 students it is the second largest community college system in the country. Fisher is currently serving in his fifth year as a national Baldrige consultant for the National Association for College and University Business Offices (NACUBO) in Washington, DC. He wrote Baldrige criteria for their award and provided feedback reports on all college and university applicants.

Next semester, Southwest will use the workshop to develop a quality enhancement plan. Southwest, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Southwest, Tennessee’s largest two-year college, serves more than 12,000 students in Memphis, Shelby and Fayette counties, and the Tri-State area. Southwest offers 39 programs for career studies and transfer, 37 two-year programs leading to immediate career entry through the Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, and more than 40 areas of interest in traditional university transfer programs through the Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree and the Associate of Science (A.S.) degree. In addition, Southwest offers Academic Certificate and Technical Certificate programs in 28 areas.