Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

Steps in the Accreditation Reaffirmation Process

There are eight steps in the reaffirmation process that involve the institution, the Off-Site and On-Site Review Committees, and Commission staff. Each step may include several components. They are as follows:

  1. The Commission staff conducts an orientation for the institution's Leadership Team.
  2. The institution prepares and submits its Compliance Certification and relevant supporting documentation (and annual institutional profiles) to the Commission on Colleges.
  3. The Off-Site Review Committee reviews the Compliance Certification and supporting documentation attesting to the institution's determination of its compliance with all Core Requirements and Comprehensive Standards with the exception of Core Requirement Twelve, which relates to the Quality Enhancement Plan. The Off-Site Committee prepares a report of its findings for each institution it reviews.
  4. The Commission staff communicates to the institution the findings of the report prepared by the Off-Site Review Committee. The institution may choose to submit a Focused Report in response to the committee's findings. The On-Site Committee receives a written copy of the Off-Site Committee's report and the institution's Focused Report, if one is submitted.
  5. The institution submits its Quality Enhancement Plan to the Commission.
  6. The On-Site Review Committee visits the institution to review and determine the acceptability of the QEP, to review areas of noncompliance and other areas of concern noted by the Off-Site Committee, and to review any areas of concern that surface during the visit. The On-Site Committee submits its report to the Commission.
  7. The institution prepares a response to the On-Site Committee's report and submits it to the Commission.
  8. The Commission reviews the findings included in the report of the On-Site Committee and the institution's response and takes action on the institution's reaffirmation.