Mercer County Institution Is Awarded National Accreditation

PRINCETON, WV, October 20, 2014:    Atlanta – The Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE) has granted accreditation to Mercer County Technical Education Center.  Announcement of this action was made by Mr. Al Salazar, Commission Chair, following the COE Fall Commission Meeting of the Council on Occupational Education on September 15, 2014. Notification of this award was received recently by Mercer County Schools.

The award of accreditation status is based on an evaluation to demonstrate that the institution meets not only the standards of quality of the Commission, but also the needs of students, the community, and employers.

The Commission’s evaluation process includes an extensive self-study by the institution and an intensive review by a visiting team of professional educators representing the Commission’s member institutions from other states.

Representatives from Mercer County Technical Education Center first attended a COE Candidate Academy in March 2013 and underwent a team visit in August 2014.  The visiting team chairperson was Radiah Dent-Palmer.  The Commission grants accreditation with subsequent reaffirmation scheduled for two to six years based upon findings of the visiting team, and each institution must substantiate its accreditation each year through an annual report which reflects the current status of the institution.  Mercer County Technical Education Center received special commendations and no negative findings from the visiting team.  A reaffirmation team visit is scheduled for 2020, the maximum six years from the initial accreditation team visit. 

The Council on Occupational Education, based in Atlanta, Georgia, offers quality assurance services to postsecondary technical education providers across the nation.  Organized as a non-profit corporation, the mission of the Council is to assure quality and integrity in career and technical education.  Services offered include institutional accreditation (recognized by the U.S. Department of Education), program quality reviews for states and technical education providers, and informational services.  Most of the Council’s work is carried out by qualified professional volunteers who are experts in technical education.

Institutional membership in the Council is voluntary, but can be achieved only by becoming accredited.  The Council’s current membership makes it unique.  Members include postsecondary public technical institutes, specialized military and national defense schools, Job Corps Centers, private career schools, non-profit technical education providers, corporate and industry education units, and federal agency institutions.  No other agency accredits and serves the diversity of organizations served by the Council.  There are over 500 institutional members at the present time.