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Top Morning Stories 12/16/11: ACC Accreditation on Warning, Perry Compares Himself to Tebow

Austin Community College's Rio Grande campus. ACC's accreditation has been put under a warning status.
KUT News
Austin Community College's Rio Grande campus. ACC's accreditation has been put under a warning status.

ACC Accreditation on Warning

A warning has been placed on Austin Community College's accreditation status for the next six months. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) says it issued the public sanction because ACC violated rules for reporting significant changes to its academic programs. ACC is still accredited.

The SACS Board will review ACC's status again in June 2012. At that time it could lift the warning, keep it in place, or as a last resort remove the college's membership. Accreditation is used to determine eligibility for federal financial aid and gives colleges a reputable standing.

ACC responded to the warning in a statement to the Austin American-Statesman:

"The college will work closely with SACS to fulfill reporting requirements," Richard Rhodes, ACC's president and CEO, said in a statement. "We are confident that the new policy will make ACC a more proactive and efficient institution."

ACC says the warning "does not pertain to the quality or content of instruction."

State Party Leaders Negotiating Over 2012 Primaries

Texas Election dates are still up in the air. State Republican and Democratic party leaders could announce an agreement as early as today. Primary Election Day is scheduled for March 6 but party leaders have been talking about pushing the date back or splitting primary elections to two different days.

That’s because new congressional and legislative districts haven’t been determined. A partisan battle over which election maps should be used has resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court hearing in January.

Rick Perry Compares Himself to Tim Tebow

What do Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and Governor Rick Perry have in common? Perry says they're both underestimated. Here's what Perry said at last night's debate in Iowa:

"There are people that stood up and said, 'Well he doesn't have the right throwing mechanisms.' Or, 'He's not playing the game right.' He won two national championships, and that looked pretty good. We were the national champions in job creation back in Texas. But am I ready for the next level? Let me tell ya, I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa Caucuses."

That comment drew much applause. You can read more about Perry's final case to Iowa in this report by KUT's Ben Philpott, who also reports for our partner, The Texas Tribune.