What does it mean to be accredited?
According to the SACS COC web site, accreditation “means that the institution has (1) a mission appropriate to higher education, (2) resources, programs and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain its mission, (3) clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and that it is (4) successful in achieving its stated objectives. Accreditation is a statement of the institution’s continuing commitment to integrity and its capacity to provide effective programs and services based on agreed-upon accreditation standards.”
It’s not sufficient to say the College meets these standards; evidence must support Meredith’s claims.
Accreditation is important to a college for many reasons, including its reputation and standing in the educational community. Recognition and transferability of academic credits earned at the institution and the ability to award financial assistance through federal programs are two of the important benefits.
What will SACS look for?
- Compliance with all Core Requirements, Comprehensive Standards and Federal Requirements. Click here for a link to these requirements.
- Institutional integrity -- including honesty in all our dealings with the Commission and with others. Another key indicator of integrity is fulfillment of our mission – that we are who we say we are and do what we say we will do.
- Quality enhancement – a concept that is at the heart of the Commission on Colleges’ philosophy of accreditation. There must be evidence that the College pursues continuous improvement in both academic and administrative areas through assessment in order to achieve its institutional and program-level goals and outcomes.
- Focus on student learning outcomes with evidence that students know what we say they will know and are prepared for what we say they will be able to do. Assessment of student learning outcomes in all majors and concentrations at the program level, as well as in all educational support programs, is necessary. Again, using findings to improve student learning is essential.
- Development of a solid Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that focuses on student learning and has broad-based support across the institution.
- Qualified faculty with documentation showing they are prepared to teach the courses to which they are assigned.
- Financial health and other resources to support the educational programs and mission of the College.
What is a QEP?
“The QEP describes a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue(s) directly related to enhancing student learning. Student learning is defined broadly in the context of the QEP and may address a wide range of topics or issues but, in all cases, the goals and evaluation strategies need to be clearly and directly linked to improving the quality of student learning. In order to ensure that the QEP is implemented, the institution integrates it into its ongoing planning and evaluation process.” (Excerpt from Core Requirement 2.12)
Meredith’s QEP Committee is developing a Quality Enhancement Plan with the broad theme of strengthening the support system for academic success, especially for freshmen and sophomores. For information about Meredith’s QEP development, click here.
A few examples of QEPs developed by Master’s granting institutions in the 2007 Reaffirmation Class include the following:
- Enhancing Critical Thinking through First-Year Seminars - Christopher-Newport University
- Enhancing Student Academic Engagement - Nova Southeastern University
- Learning for Civic Engagement in a Global Context - Mary Baldwin College
- Going Further Faster: The College of Charleston First-Year Experience - College of Charleston
- Global Learning for Engaged Citizenship - Kennesaw State University
- First-year Seminars: Shaping Women’s Voices for the Twenty-First Century - Hollins University
- Ideas to Action: Using Critical Thinking to Foster Student Learning and Community Engagement - University of Louisville
What is Meredith's current accreditation status?
Meredith College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Meredith College.
The Commission should be contacted only if there is evidence that appears to support an institution’s significant non-compliance with a requirement or standard.
Click here for Meredith's official listing on the SACS COC web site.
When was Meredith first accredited?
Meredith was first accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1921, having worked for and aspired to the status of a “standard” college since 1908. In A History of Meredith College, Dr. Mary Lynch Johnson wrote that “’The Southern Association’ had become a byword in the College.” She reported that “When on December 21, 1921, Dr. Brewer wired that the College was admitted to full membership in the Southern Association, in half an hour every person on the campus had heard the glad news.” (Second Edition: p. 148)
If I have questions . . .?
The Assistant to the President for Special Projects is Meredith’s SACS COC Accreditation Liaison. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.