Process of Accreditation

The adoption in 2001 of the Principles of Accreditation by the Commission on Colleges introduced significant changes in the approach to accreditation. The institution’s effectiveness and its ability to create and sustain an environment that enhances student learning is the focus of this new approach. The process is designed to determine the quality of an institution within the framework of its mission, its goals, and its analysis of and response to crucial institutional issues.

There are four paramount concepts on which the success of the accreditation process depends. One is the belief that the accreditation of institutions should be conducted by peer reviewers, a process whereby institutional effectiveness and quality are professionally judged by peers from institutions of higher education whose expertise and experience are essential to their ability to exercise professional judgment. A second concept is institutional integrity and the assumption that all information disseminated by an institution seeking accreditation is truthful, accurate, and complete and that all of its dealings with its constituencies and the public are honest and forthright. Another concept is the institution’s commitment to quality enhancement and the last paramount concept is the institution’s focus on student learning.

The accreditation process also assumes that all participants in the process will conduct their responsibilities with integrity, objectivity, fairness, and confidentiality.

Source: Handbook for Reaffirmation of Accreditation, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, 2002.

  Last updated 10/20/03