Core Requirements

For every Core Requirement mandating a policy or procedure, it is implicit that the policy or procedure is in writing, approved through appropriate institutional processes, published in appropriate institutional documents accessible to those affected by the policy or procedure, and implemented and enforced by the institution.

For obtaining or maintaining accreditation with the Commission on Colleges, an institution must meet the following Core Requirements:

SACS Requirements

MCC Responsibility Center

1.

The institution has degree-granting authority from the appropriate government agency or agencies.

Dr. Cleary

CR - 1

2.

The institution has a governing board of at least five members that is the legal body with specific authority over the institution. The board is an active policy-making body for the institution and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the financial resources of the institution are adequate to provide a sound educational program. The board is not controlled by a minority of board members or by organizations or interests separate from it. Neither the presiding officer of the board nor the majority of other voting members of the board have contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution.A military institution authorized and operated by the federal government to award degrees has a public board in which neither the presiding officer nor a majority of the other members are civilian employees of the military or active/retired military. The board has broad and significant influence upon the institution's programs and operations, plays an active role in policy-making, and ensures that the financial resources of the institution are used to provide a sound educational program. The board is not controlled by a minority of board members or by organizations or interests separate from the board except as specified by the authorizing legislation. Neither the presiding officer of the board nor the majority of other voting board members have contractual, employment, or personal or familial financial interest in the institution.

Dr. Cleary

CR - 2

3.

The institution has a chief executive officer whose primary responsibility is to the institution and who is not the presiding officer of the board.

Dr. Cleary

CR - 3

4.

The institution has a clearly defined and published mission statement specific to the institution and appropriate to an institution of higher education, addressing teaching and learning and, where applicable, research and public service.

Dr. Cleary

CR - 4

5.

The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that incorporate a systematic review of programs and services that (a) results in continuing improvement and (b) demonstrates that the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission.

Dr. Cleary

CR - 5

6.

The institution is in operation and has students enrolled in degree programs.

Dr. Cleary

CR - 6

7.

The Institution:

Dr. Rosen
Dr. Bowman

CR - 7

a.

offers one or more degree programs based on at least 60 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the associate level; at least 120 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the baccalaureate level; or at least 30 semester credit hours or the equivalent at the post-baccalaureate, graduate, or professional level. The institution provides a written justification and rationale for program equivalency.

b.

The institution: offers degree programs that embody a coherent course of study that is compatible with its stated purpose and is based upon fields of study appropriate to higher education.

c.

offers a general education program at the collegiate level that is (1) a substantial component of each undergraduate degree, (2) ensures breadth of knowledge, and (3) is based on a coherent rationale. For degree completion in associate programs, the component constitutes a minimum of 15 semester hours or the equivalent; for baccalaureate programs, a minimum of 30 semester hours or the equivalent. These credit hours are to be drawn from and include at least one course from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts; social/behavioral sciences; and natural science/mathematics. The courses do not narrowly focus on those skills, techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession. The institution provides a written justification and rationale for course equivalency.

d.

makes arrangements for some instruction to be provided by other accredited institutions or entities through contracts or consortia, where appropriate. The institution itself, however, provides instruction for all course work required for at least one degree program at each level at which it awards degrees, or provides an alternative approach to meeting this requirement. The alternative approach is approved by the Commission on Colleges. In all cases, the institution demonstrates that it controls all aspects of its educational program.

8.

The number of full-time faculty members is adequate to support the mission of the institution. The institution has adequate faculty resources to ensure the quality and integrity of its academic programs. In addition, upon application for candidacy, an applicant institution demonstrates that it meets the comprehensive standard for faculty qualifications.

Dr. Rosen
Mrs. Beck

CR - 8

9.

The institution, through ownership or formal arrangements or agreements, provides and supports student and faculty access and user privileges to adequate library collections and well as to other learning/information resources consistent with the degrees offered. These collections and resources are sufficient to support all its educational, research, and public service programs.

Dr. Cleary
Dr. Rosen

CR - 9

10.

The institution provides student support programs, services, and activities consistent with its mission that promote student learning and enhance the development of its students.

Dr. BowmanDr. Rosen

CR - 10

11.

The institution has a sound financial base and demonstrated financial stability, and adequate physical resources to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services. The institution provides the following financial statements: (a) an institutional audit (as distinct from a system wide or statewide audit) and management letter for the most recent fiscal year prepared by an independent certified public accountant or an appropriate auditing agency employing the appropriate audit guide; (b) an annual budget that is preceded by sound planning, is subject to sound fiscal procedures, and is approved by the governing board; and (c) a schedule of changes in unrestricted net assets, excluding plant and plant related-debt (short and long-term debt attached to physical assets).

Ms. Probstfeld

CR - 11

12.

The institution has developed an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan and demonstrates the plan is part of an ongoing planning and evaluation process.

Vice Presidents

CR - 12

 

  Last Updated 9/21/04