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SACS Accreditation Review

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Jodi Fisler

on 6 January 2014

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Transcript of SACS Accreditation Review

What is SACSCOC?
stands for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is the regional accrediting body for the Southeast U.S. Its mission is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions. Institutions of higher education are reviewed by the SACS Commission on Colleges (

The board of trustees--elected by representatives from each of the SACSCOC-accredited institutions--determines the standards by which all of the member institutions will be evaluated. In other words, the standards are peer-developed and institutions are peer-reviewed.
The Principles of Accreditation are divided into 4 sections.
Putting it all together
Documenting our compliance with all of the SACSCOC requirements & standards is a huge job. The report we wrote for our last review (in 2005) was more than 200 pages long!
Principles of Accreditation
The Principles of Accreditation are the criteria SACSCOC has established to determine which institutions qualify for its stamp of approval.
Section 2:
Core Requirements
Core Requirements are basic, foundational requirements. They address questions like:

• Does the institution have a governing board?
• Does it have enough faculty to achieve its mission?

The questions may sound simple, but the answers might not be!

There are 12 Core Requirements.
Section 3:
Comprehensive Standards
Comprehensive Standards are more specific to the operations of the institution. They represent good practice and establish a
level of accomplishment
They address questions like:

does the governing board conduct its business?

How well
does the institution achieve its mission?

How competent
and qualified are the staff and faculty?
Section 4:
Federal Requirements
Most of the requirements for accreditation are determined by the members that make up SACSCOC. Some are mandated by the federal government.
Section 1:
Principle of Integrity
1.1 The institution operates with integrity in all matters.

Compliance with this principle is assumed unless reviewers find evidence to the contrary (e.g., evidence of an institution withholding information, providing inaccurate information).
There are 14 Comprehensive Standards.
Comprehensive Standards
(Note: Many have sub-components not shown here.)

3.1 Institutional Mission
3.2 Governance & Administration
3.3 Institutional Effectiveness
3.4 All Educational Programs
3.5 Undergraduate Programs
3.6 Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Programs
3.7 Faculty
3.8 Library & Other Learning Resources
3.9 Student Affairs & Services
3.10 Financial Resources
3.11 Physical Resources
3.12 Substantive Change Procedures & Policy
3.13 Compliance with Other Commission Policies
3.14 Representation of Status
There are 9 Federal Requirements.
Federal Requirements

4.1 Student Achievement
4.2 Program Curriculum
4.3 Publication of Policies
4.4 Program Length
4.5 Student Complaints
4.6 Recruitment Materials
4.7 Title IV Program Responsibilities
4.8 Distance & Correspondence Education
4.9 Definition of Credit Hours
1. educational programs
2. administrative support services
3. academic and student support services
4. research activities
5. community/public service
The institution
identifies expected

the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides
evidence of improvement
based on analysis of the results in each of the following areas:
How do we show that we do this?
Profile of Institutional Effectiveness (PIE)
The PIE is a system W&M has developed to demonstrate that we meet the Institutional Effectiveness standard. A PIE shows a department's goals, its methods for achieving and assessing them, and how the department (and higher-level administrators) use assessment results to make improvements.
Who should produce a PIE?
Every academic department & program
Most administrative departments/offices
All student affairs departments
Deans & VPs' offices do not need to create a separate PIE. Their role in ensuring effectiveness should be reflected in the PIEs of the departments/offices that report to them.
Compliance Assist is web-based (no more 200+ sheets of paper!) and allows for collaborative editing by key personnel across campus. This will make the process of gathering information and writing the report much more efficient.
W&M has purchased a software package called
Compliance Assist
to help organize and present the written report and supporting documentation we need to provide to the SACSCOC review team.
Core Requirements
(Note: Some have sub-components not shown here.)

2.1 Degree-granting Authority
2.2 Governing Board
2.3 Chief Executive Officer
2.4 Institutional Mission
2.5 Institutional Effectiveness
2.6 Continuous Operation
2.7 Educational Programs
2.8 Faculty
2.9 Learning Resources & Services
2.10 Student Support Services
2.11 Financial & Physical Resources
2.12 Quality Enhancement Plan
When is SACSCOC?
SACSCOC institutions receive a full accreditation review every 10 years. This consists of an off-site review of documents followed by an on-campus visit by a team of peer reviewers.

A mid-cycle review (off-site only) takes place halfway between each full review.

W&M's next full review will take place in 2015-2016.
How do we demonstrate compliance?
Key personnel write a detailed report addressing each criterion, using information provided by departments and offices across the university.
Let's look at one example...
Comprehensive Standard 3.3:
Institutional Effectiveness
PIEs are the way departments provide information to help the College show compliance with
part of
In other words...
There are several parts to this standard. Let's look at just the first part, which is a big one.
Dr. Susan Bosworth
Associate Provost for
Institutional Analysis & Effectiveness
Full transcript