UNCG Accreditation SACSCOC OrganizationThe Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is the accrediting body for educational institutions in the Southeast Region of the U.S. The Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the division of SACS that oversees accreditation of higher education institutions in the region. Dr. Belle Wheelan is President of the Commission on Colleges. Commissioners who serve on this Commission include representatives from two and four year universities. Their responsibility is to ensure that all accredited institutions provide effective programs and services based upon agreed upon requirements. Being accredited and in good standing with SACSCOC assures the public that our programs are effective, enables UNCG students to qualify for federal financial aid, and ensures transfer of credits to and from other accredited institutions. Application for re-accreditation, or "reaffirmation of accreditation," occurs every ten years. UNCG must demonstrate compliance with standards, policies, and procedures of the Commission on Colleges. Preparation for reaffirmation typically takes at least two years, as an institution gathers and organizes materials, writes reports, and prepares for an on-campus visit that will take place in 2014.
UNCG will conduct a thorough self-evaluation to review our compliance with each of more than 80 specific standards set forward the in Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement. For each standard, we will compile and evaluate the relevant body of evidence to determine whether we are in full compliance or non-compliance.
An Off-Site Reaffirmation Committee will then review the entire Compliance Certification and our responses to each of the standards. If, as a result of this "paper review," the Committee cannot determine that the institution is meeting certain standards, these will be referred to the On-Site Reaffirmation Team for further investigation when the team makes its visit to campus. The findings of the Off-Site Committee will be transmitted to the University, as well as to the On-Site Peer Reaffirmation Committee. Prior to the on-site visit, UNCG will have an opportunity to prepare a Focused Report addressing concerns identified by the Off-Site Committee.
Quality Improvement Plan (QEP)
The requisite Quality Enhancement Plan is critical to the reaffirmation process. The Commission is committed to the improvement of student learning, and the QEP must describes a carefully researched, thoughtful, and well-designed course of action intended to have a demonstrable, assessable impact on student learning outcomes and on the accomplishment of the institution's mission. Each institution may choose to focus on any aspect of its educational program, so long as the institution can demonstrate that the institution is capable of completing the QEP, that there is widespread involvement of faculty and other constituencies in its development and implementation, and that there are clearly articulated goals and plans for assessment.
On-Site Peer Review Visit
During the spring of 2014, the On-Site Reaffirmation Committee, comprised of individuals from similar SACSCOC institutions in the region, will visit the campus. Prior to this visit, Committee members will have reviewed the advice of the off-site reviewers and UNCG's proposed QEP plan. While a primary focus of this visit is to provide UNCG with feedback on the QEP and its acceptability, the On-Site Committee also addresses any remaining questions and investigates any issues related to the Compliance Certification and the institution's compliance with standards. A report from the On-Site Reaffirmation Committee is sent to the SACSCOC Commission on Colleges and to the Chancellor of UNCG. The University then has an opportunity to provide a written response to the Commission.
Commission on Colleges Review
The Board of Trustees of the SACSCOC Commission on Colleges will review the report from the On- site Reaffirmation Committee and the response from the University. A decision will be made and announced concerning UNCG's continuing accreditation.