Committee Resources
Institutional Resources
Substantive Changes



Posted:  March 6, 2017
Due:  March 27, 2017

The 2015-2017 Principles Review Committee invites comments on the second draft of the proposed changes to SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation:  Foundations for Quality Enhancement.  To date, the Committee has

  • Restructured the Principles, collapsed by topics, eliminated some redundancy, combined standards, and created multiple parts under single standards.
  • Revised the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) as a comprehensive standard requiring that the QEP emerge from the institution’s ongoing planning process; focus on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success; demonstrate that resources are available to complete the QEP; and include a plan to assess achievement.
  • Integrated federally mandated policies into the Principles.
  • Moved some current standards to the Resource Manual as guidelines
  • Clarified, revised, defined, expanded or studied the standards most often cited in the survey as problematic.
  • Reviewed comments from 162 respondents to the proposed changes posted in January.

The Committee has restructured the Principles by the following topics as indicated by the survey:  The Principle of Integrity;  Basic Eligibility Standard; Governing Board; Administration and Organization; Faculty; Institutional Planning and Improvement; Student Achievement; Educational Program Structure and Content; Educational Policies, Procedures, and Practices; Library and Learning/Information Resources; Academic and Student Support Services, Financial and Physical Resources; and Transparency and Institutional Representation.

Following review of the 162 responses from the first draft/survey posted in February, the Committee made a number of changes.  Included are two sets of crosswalk changes: (1) Notes and Crosswalk of Current Standards with References to the Newly-Proposed Standards and (2) Notes and Crosswalk of Newly-Proposed Standards with References to Current Standards. Both were posted on March 9, 2017. Due to time constraints, the Committee did not have an opportunity to review comments regarding seven standards.  Those standards are marked on the survey and the Committee will review the former as well as any newly-submitted comments at its meeting in April.

As you complete the survey, please note the following:

  • The Committee is not seeking comments regarding the order or the numbering of standards; rather, it is seeking comments regarding the clarity, rigor, and relevancy of each requirement.  The standards will be ordered and numbered sequentially after all wording is finalized.
  • The Committee is not seeking comments on the standards that will be the equivalency of the current Core Requirements and that define for institutions standards that must be met for initial or continued accreditation.  The SACSCOC Board of Trustees' Executive Council is responsible for making those initial determinations.
  • The Committee has not identified the standards that will be used as part of the Fifth-Year Interim Report.  Those standards must reflect federal requirements and criteria established by the U.S. Secretary of Education's criteria for accrediting agencies.  The SACSCOC Board of Trustees' Executive Council is responsible for making those initial determinations.

To provide your comments to the second draft of the proposed Principles of Accreditation, please access FEEDBACK FORM.

All comments received by March 27 will be forwarded to the Committee for review during its deliberations April 19-20, 2017.   Following review of the comments, the Committee will forward the proposed revised Principles of Accreditation to the SACSCOC Board of Trustees for review during its meeting June 2017.  The SACSCOC membership will take final action on the approval of the changes during SACSCOC Annual Meeting in December 2017.

Thanks so much for your input.




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