- What is Accreditation?
- Who is SACSCOC?
- What is the Reaffirmation Process?
- What is the QEP?
- Questions about reaffirmation?
Accreditation is intended to assure constituents and the public of the quality and integrity of higher education institutions and programs, and to help those institutions and programs improve. These outcomes are achieved through rigorous internal and external review processes during which the institution is evaluated against a common set of standards.
When accreditation is awarded to an institution of higher education by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), a regional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, it means that the institution has (1) a mission appropriate to higher education, (2) resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain its mission, (3) clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and that it is (4) successful in assessing its achievement of these objectives and demonstrating improvements. Accreditation by SACSCOC is a statement of the institution’s continuing commitment to integrity and its capacity to provide effective programs and services based on agreed-upon accreditation standards.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the recognized regional accrediting body in the eleven U.S. Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degrees. The Commission on Colleges’ Board of Trustees is the representative body of the College Delegate Assembly and is charged with carrying out the accreditation process.
To gain or maintain accreditation with the Commission on Colleges, an institution must comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and with the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges. The Commission on Colleges applies the requirements of its Principles to all applicant, candidate, and member institutions, regardless of type of institution (public, private for-profit, private not-for-profit).
A process that involves a collective analysis and judgment by the institution’s internal constituencies, an informed review by peers external to the institution, and a reasoned decision by the elected members of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees, reaffirmation of accreditation is the process for ensuring that member institutions maintain continuing compliance with Commission policies and with the Principles of Accreditation. An institution must be reaffirmed five years after it gains initial accreditation and every ten years thereafter.
Institutions seeking reaffirmation of accreditation must submit two documents: 1- the Compliance Certification 2- the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). These documents will be reviewed by the 1- Off-site Reaffirmation Committee, 2- On-site Reaffirmation Committee, and 3- SACSCOC Board of Trustees
The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is an important part of the reaffirmation process. The QEP is evaluated by the On-site Review Committee, which allows a peer review team to better understand Alcorn’s focus on student learning and/or student success. It is expected that the QEP will be a continuous improve activity that will yield meaningful data which will be reported when ASU submits its Fifth-Year Interim Report.