The Employee College Handbook, a publication of Southern Union State Community College, compiles the information needed by college employees to effectively fulfill their professional responsibilities. It provides a summary of the policies and procedures of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Board of Trustees that most directly affect college personnel. All college personnel should carefully review this Policy Manual, consult the other publications to which it refers, and become thoroughly familiar with the regulations that govern their professional activities. The Southern Union State Community College Catalog and Student Handbook is widely available on campus, while the Alabama Community College System Policy Manual, hereinafter referenced as State Policy Manual (SPM), is available online at www.accs.edu. The Catalog and Student Handbook is available from the Admissions Office, and the State Policy Manual from the Administrative Council or from the website at www.suscc.edu
The College Employee Handbook Policy Manual is reviewed and revised periodically. Additions and corrections may be made at any time by properly authorized committees and by the administrative staff of the college. Any policy adopted by the ACCS Board of Trustees always supersedes conflicting information in the College Employee Handbook. Each edition of the Policy Manual is subject to approval by the College Assembly
Southern Union State Community College was formed on August 12, 1993, when the Alabama State Board of Education merged Southern Union State Junior College, located in Wadley, Valley, and Opelika, with Opelika State Technical College, in Opelika, with final approval granted on August 11, 1994. Each partner brought to the merger a history rich in tradition of services to students.
The oldest of the two colleges, Southern Union, was chartered as Bethlehem College on June 2, 1922, by the Southern Christian Convention of Congregational Christian Churches. Wadley was chosen as the site for the college because of its proximity to a large number of the denomination's churches and because of the donation of a forty-acre site by John M. Hodge, a local banker.
From its opening with 51 students in a single building on September 13, 1923 until 1964, the college remained church related, operating as Piedmont Junior College, Southern Union College, and The Southern Union College. On October 1, 1964, the college was deeded to the State of Alabama and became part of a newly created system of two-year colleges under the governance of the Alabama State Board of Education. The name of the college became Southern Union State Junior College, and it achieved accreditation in 1970 from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Opelika State Technical College was created by an act of the Alabama State Legislature on May 3, 1963, in response to a recognized need to establish vocational/technical colleges in industrial areas of Alabama. Contributions of local governmental entities such as the Lee County Commission, which donated 63 acres of land for the college site, and the City of Opelika, which provided access to utility services and helped make the college a reality. The college opened on January 10, 1966, as Opelika State Vocational Technical Institute, but was designated Opelika State Technical College on August 22, 1973, by the Alabama State Board of Education and accredited in 1971 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Southern Union State Community College serves residents of an eight-county area of East Central Alabama as well as neighboring Georgia counties from its three campuses in Wadley, Valley and Opelika. A three-faceted educational emphasis is on academic programs for transferability, technical/vocational programs for specialized career competencies, and nursing and allied health programs for specialized training in health sciences.
Southern Union State Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science and Associate in Occupational Technologies Degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Southern Union State Community College.
Southern Union State Community College’s instructional programs have received individual professional accreditation/approval from the following organizations:
Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) - accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing (3343 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326; telephone (404) 975-5000; website: acenursing.org) and approved by the Alabama State Board of Nursing (RSA Plaza, Suite 250, 770 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36130-3900; telephone (334) 242-4060; website: abn.alabama.gov)
Computer Science Certified Internet Web Professional (CIW) - Authorized academic partner. Pearson VUE authorized Testing Center.
Cosmetology - Approved by the Alabama Board of Cosmetology.
Emergency Medical Services - The Paramedic Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Committee on Accreditation of Education Programs for the EMS Professionals (www.caahep.org) (CoAEMSP). Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs 25400 U.S. Highway 19 N, Suite 158 Clearwater, FL 33756 Phone: (727) 210-2350 website: www.caahep.org
Engineering Graphics and Design - The Engineering Graphics and Design program has been awarded curriculum certification for the classification of drafter from the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA). American Design Drafting Association 105 East Main Street Newbern, Tennessee, 38059, www.adda.org
Machine Shop Technology - The Machine Technology program is accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS). National Institute for Metalworking Skills 10565 Fairfax Blvd. Suite 203 Fairfax, Virginia 22030, www.nims-skills.org
Nursing Assistant - approved by the Alabama Department of Public Health, Division of Healthcare Facilities.
Practical Nursing (PN Program) - candidate for accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing (3343 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326; telephone (404) 975-5000; website: acenursing.org) and approved by the Alabama State Board of Nursing (RSA Plaza, Suite 250, 770 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36130-3900; telephone (334) 242-4060; website: abn.alabama.gov)
Radiologic Technology Program - accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) (20 North Wacker Drive,Suite 2850, Chicago, IL 60606-3182, (312) 704-5300).
Surgical Technology Program - has continuing accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP),25400 U.S. Highway 19 N, Suite 158 Clearwater, FL 33756, Phone: 727-210-2350; Fax 727-210-2354 Website: www.caahep.org
Therapeutic Massage - Approved as a licensed Massage Therapy School by the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy. State of Georgia Board Recognized Massage Therapy Educational Program.
Welding - American Welding Society (AWS), Accredited Test Facility
Southern Union State Community College, an open admission, public two-year college and member of the Alabama Community College System, provides quality and relevant teaching and learning in academic, technical, and health science programs that are affordable, accessible, equitable, and responsive to the diverse needs of its students, community, business, industry, and government.
Southern Union State Community College is located in east central Alabama. The Wadley Campus is on Alabama State Highways 22 and 77, approximately 90 miles southwest of Atlanta, Georgia, and the same distance southeast of Birmingham. The Valley Campus is on Fob James Drive in Valley, Alabama, just off Interstate Highway 85. The Opelika Campus is on 301 Lake Condy Road. There is also a downtown campus in Opelika located at 701 Railroad Avenue.
Counties: Chambers, Clay (eastern half), Lee (southeastern corner shared with Chattahoochee Valley), Macon (middle one-third), Randolph, and Tallapoosa (southeast corner which is shared with Central)
Shared County Divisions
Clay County: Central Alabama has the area west of a line drawn north/south through and including Clairmont Springs. Southern Union has the area east of a line drawn north/south through Clairmont Springs.
Lee County: Southern Union has the area north of a diagonal line drawn from the southwest corner of the county through Bleecker. The area south of the diagonal line drawn through Bleecker is shared with Chattahoochee Valley.
Macon County: Chattahoochee Valley has the area east of the line drawn north/south through and including Roba. Southern Union has the area between the lines drawn north/south through Tuskegee and Franklin. Trenholm has the area west of the line drawn north/south through Franklin.
Tallapoosa County: Both colleges share the area south of Hwy 50 and east of Hwy 49.
Southern Union State Community College complies with the institutional obligations set forth in the Substantive Change Policy Statement issued by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Those institutional obligations are:
- Member institutions are required to notify the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) of changes in accordance with the substantive change policy, and when required, seek approval prior to the initiation of changes.
- Member institutions are required to have a policy and procedure to ensure that all substantive changes are reported to the Commission in a timely fashion.
Procedure for Reporting a Substantive Change
- Each administrator at the College is responsible for determining when a substantive change has occurred or will occur within his/her respective division or department. This determination will be made in accordance with the definitions set forth in the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy Statement (www.sacscoc.org).
- The respective administrator will determine the type of substantive change that has occurred or will occur within his/her division or department.
- The respective administrator will notify the Southern Union State Community College SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison of the substantive change.
- The College’s SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison will work with the respective administrator to determine the appropriate reporting procedure, the respective approval/notification requirements, and the reporting timeline in accordance with the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy.
- The Administrator initiating the substantive change will provide documentation needed to support the notification letter to SACSCOC.
- The College President or his/her designated representative, will prepare and submit the notification letter to the SACSCOC President summarizing the proposed change, providing the intended implementation date, and all other required information as outlined in the document “Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions of the Commission on Colleges.”