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Policies, Guidelines, Good Practices, and Position Statements

In addition to the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement, the accreditation standards of SACSCOC, the Commission has four categories of documents: policies, guidelines, good practices, and position statements. For each of the four categories below, the Commission defines the term and lists the documents categorized as such. There is also a link below explaining the recent changes to documents on this page.

For all, the Commission maintains currency on the Web and reserves the right to add, modify, or delete any of the documents listed

Commission Policies
Commission Guidelines
Commission Good Practices
Commission Position Statements

Commission Policies

Definition: A policy is a required course of action to be followed by SACSCOC or its member or candidate institutions. Commission policies may also include procedures, which are likewise a required course of action to be followed by SACSCOC or its member or candidate institutions. The Principles of Accreditation requires that an institution comply with the policies and procedures of the Commission. Policies are approved by vote of the Board of Trustees. At its discretion, the Board of Trustees may choose to forward a policy to the College Delegate Assembly for approval.

The following are categorized as policies of the Commission.

Accreditation Procedures for Applicant Institutions  (Updated Feb 2018)

Accrediting Decisions of Other Agencies  (Edited March 2014, reformatted Aug 2014)

Administrative Procedures for the Meetings of the Committees on Compliance and Reports (Edited December 2011, reformatted Aug 2014)

Advertising and Student Recruitment  (Revised June 2017)

Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards (Revised December 2012, reformatted July 2014) Previously called “Collaborative Academic Arrangements"

Appeals Procedures of the College Delegate Assembly (Edited June 2014, reformatted July 2014)

Complaint Procedures Against SACSCOC or Its Accredited Institutions (Revised Mar 2016)

Conflict of Interest for SACSCOC Staff  (Revised Mar 2015)

Core Requirement 3.1.b: Documenting an Alternative Approach (Updated Mar 2018)

Core Requirement 5.1:Documenting an Alternative Approach (Updated Mar 2018)

Credit Hours  (Edited Jan 2012)

Deadlines for Reports and Profiles  (Revised Mar 2017)

Direct Assessment Competency Based Educational Programs (Edited May 2016)

Disclosure of Accrediting Documents and Actions of SACSCOC (Edited Mar 2014, reformatted Aug 2014)

Distance and Correspondence Education  (Edited Jan 2012, reformatted July 2014)

Dues, Fees and Expenses  (Revised Dec 2016)

Enrollment Growth Institutions  (Approved June 2011)

Ethical Obligations of Evaluators  (Revised Mar 2015)

Ethical Obligations of Members of SACSCOC Board of Trustees (Edited Jan 2012)

Governing, Coordinating, and Other State Agencies: Representation on Evaluation Committees(Edited Jan 2012, reformatted Aug 2014)

Institutional Obligations for Public Disclosure (Revised June 2017)

Integrity and Institutional Obligations to SACSCOC   (Revised June 2017)

Litigation: Institutional Obligations (Edited Aug 2014)

Mergers, Consolidations, Change of Ownership, Acquisitions, and Change of Governance, Control, Form, or Legal Status (Revised Dec 2015, Updated July 2016, Prospectus updated, July 2016 )

Mission Statement of the Commission (Edited Jan 2012)

Observers on Reaffirmation On-site Review Committees (Edited Jan 2012)

Policies, Guidelines, Good Practices, and Position Statements: Definitions for Accreditation Purposes(Edited Jan 2012, Reformatted Aug 2014)

QEP: Lead Evaluator Nomination Process (Revised Dec 2010)

Quality and Integrity of Undergraduate Degrees (Added Feb 2012)

Reaffirmation of Accreditation and Subsequent Reports (Revised June 2013; Edited Mar 2014)

Records Maintenance Policy of SACSCOC (Edited Jan 2012)

Reimbursement for Expenses (Edited Jan 2012, reformatted Aug 2014)

Reports Submitted for SACSCOC Review (Edited Dec 2017)

Sanctions, Denial of Reaffirmation, and Removal from Membership  (Revised Dec 2013, reformatted April 2015)

Seeking Accreditation from Another Region (Edited Jan 2012)

Separate Accreditation for Units of a Member Institution (Revised Dec 2015)

Special Committee Procedures and Team Report  (Edited Mar 2014)

Standing Rules: SACSCOC Board of Trustees, Executive Council, and the College Delegate Assembly (Revised Dec 2016)

Substantive Change for SACSCOC Accredited Institutions (Adopted Mar 2016, Updated July 2016, Revised Dec 2016)

Third-Party Comment by the Public  (Edited Jan 2012)

Unsolicited Information  (Revised June 2017)

Commission Guidelines

Definition: A guideline is an advisory statement designed to assist institutions in fulfilling accreditation requirements. As such, guidelines describe recommended educational practices for documenting requirements of the Principles of Accreditation and are approved by the Executive Council. The guidelines are examples of commonly accepted practices that constitute compliance with the standard. Depending upon the nature and mission of the institution, however, other approaches may be more appropriate and also provide evidence of compliance.

The following are categorized as guidelines of the Commission:

The Accreditation Liaison (Edited Jan 2012)

Core Requirement 2.8 (Faculty) (Approved June 2014)

Faculty Credentials  (Updated April 2018)

Guidelines for Addressing Distance and Correspondence Education (Approved Dec 2011)

The Nominating Committee of SACSCOC  (Edited Jan 2007)

Requests for Data or Research Assistance  (Approved Dec 2015)

Travel and Committees Visits  (Edited Feb 2004)

Commission Good Practices

Definition: Good practices are commonly accepted practices within the higher education community that enhance institutional quality. Good practices may be formulated by outside agencies and organizations and endorsed by the Executive Council or the Commission.

Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certificate Programs (Endorsed Dec 2000)

Closing a Program, Site, Branch or Institution (Revised Aug 2011, reformatted July 2014)

Developing Policy and Procedures Documents (Adopted June 2010)

Commission Position Statements

Definition: A position statement examines an issue facing the Commission’s membership, describes appropriate approaches, and states the Commission’s stance on the issue. It is endorsed by the Executive Council or SACSCOC.

The following are categorized as position statements of the Commission:

The Impact of Budget Reductions on Higher Education  (Endorsed Mar 2002)

Diversity A Position Statement of the SACSCOC (Revised June 2011)

Transfer of Academic Credit  (Endorsed June 2003)


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