SACS Commission - Characteristics of Accreditation

 Assessment Elements Characteristics of Accreditation

The Commission on Colleges adheres to the following fundamental characteristics of accreditation:

  • Participation in the accreditation process is voluntary and is an earned and renewable status.
  • Member institutions develop, amend, and approve accreditation requirements.
  • The process of accreditation is representative, responsive, and appropriate to the types of institutions accredited.
  • Accreditation is a form of self-regulation.
  • Accreditation requires institutional commitment and engagement.
  • Accreditation is based upon a peer review process.
  • Accreditation requires an institutional commitment to student learning and achievement.
  • Accreditation acknowledges an institution’s prerogative to articulate its mission within the recognized context of higher education and its responsibility to show that it is accomplishing its mission.
  • Accreditation requires institutional commitment to the concept of quality enhancement through continuous assessment and improvement.
  • Accreditation expects an institution to develop a balanced governing structure designed to promote institutional integrity, autonomy, and flexibility of operation.
  • Accreditation expects an institution to ensure that its programs are complemented by support structures and resources that allow for the total growth and development of its students (SACS, 2011).


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