What is SACS?
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, often referred to as SACS, is the accreditation agency that Meredith voluntarily asks to review the institution and to attest to its quality. The SACS Commission on Colleges (COC) is charged with carrying out the accreditation process for the higher education institutions in the Southern region that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degrees. A member institution is reviewed every ten years to determine if it meets the requirements and standards for accreditation that have been established and agreed upon by member institutions. Having last been reaffirmed in 2010, Meredith’s decennial review will take place in 2020.
Dr. Belle S. Wheelan, President of SACS COC, often says that SACS stands for “Students Are Central to Success,” and this is a good thought to keep in mind while preparing for our official review. The work we are doing will ensure that the outcomes for Meredith students are those we want them to be. It focuses our attention on where Meredith excels but also on areas in which improvements can be made. The College, and the students we serve, will benefit greatly from the critical self-examination that is an essential part of seeking SACS COC reaffirmation.
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.
A lot of work goes into reaffirmation. There are two major areas to address satisfactorily, with reports to be written and submitted for review.
The College completes an extensive internal review and produce a Compliance Certification report that provides responses to the following:
- Core Requirements
- Comprehensive Standards
- Federal Requirements
The Commission on Colleges will provide information to determine if Meredith fully complies with its expectations of institutional integrity and compliance with all Commission policies and reporting requirements.
Click here for a link to the published requirements and standards.
The College develops a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) proposal that focuses on improving student learning outcomes. The QEP must have broad-based campus involvement and must emerge from institutional planning, assessment and research. It will address an area that clearly demonstrates Meredith’s commitment to continuous improvement of student learning. Click here to learn more about the development of Meredith’s QEP topic.
A satisfactory QEP proposal is one of the Core Requirements for reaffirmation of accreditation. Once the proposal is approved, the plan is implemented and assessed. The institution must then provide a five-year impact report showing how the QEP has made a difference in learning outcomes for students. This impact study is part of The Fifth-Year Interim Report that also address various requirements, standards and federal requirements for which continued compliance reports are essential.
Off-Site Review – Meredith submits its Compliance Certification Report in September before the scheduled visit. It is thoroughly examined by a team of peer evaluators, all of whom will come from outside of North Carolina but from within the Southern region. This team meets in Atlanta in early November the year before a visit, to identify any areas in which it appears that Meredith is not in full compliance. The College will have an opportunity to provide a follow-up focus report and additional documentation to address any issues identified prior to the on-site visit.
On-Site Review – The Quality Enhancement Plan is submitted about six weeks before an on-site team visits the campus in early February of the year of the visit. The on-site evaluators carefully examine Meredith’s QEP proposal and will pay close attention to any areas of concern raised in the off-site committee’s report and to certain federal regulations and areas of interest. This committee determines if there are areas of non-compliance and will make its report and recommendations to a Committee on Compliance and Reports of the Commission on Colleges.
COC Review – The Committee on Compliance and Reports reviews the report of Meredith’s On-site Committee and makes its recommendation to the COC Executive Council at its December meeting in the year of the visit. Its report goes to the full Commission on Colleges for a final decision about reaffirmation and any follow-up activities that might be required.
Appointed SACS Leadership Team - Summer 2007
Identified QEP Focus Area / Conduct Compliance Audit - 2007-2008
Sent Leadership Team to Atlanta for Orientation Session - June 2008
Appointed QEP Committee Summer - 2008
Developed QEP / Complete Compliance Certification Report - 2008-2009
Submited Compliance Report to SACS COC - September 10, 2009
Received Report of Off-Site Review Committee - November 2 – 5, 2009
Submited Quality Enhancement Plan (and Focus Report, if any) - December 2009
Hosted On-Site Review Committee - February 2 – 4, 2010
Received decision of Commission on Colleges for re-accreditation, based on reviews/recommendations of the Committee on Compliance and Reports and the Executive Council - December 4 - 7, 2010
Filed necessary follow-up response to Committee’s report -- September 2011
Meredith’s Timeline for Fifth-year Interim Report
Received approval for Quality Enhancement Plan
Implement and assess QEP (fall 2011 - fall 2015)
Form Fifth-year Interim Report Team (spring 2014) [Click here for requirements for the Fifth-year Interim Report.]
Write QEP Impact Report (spring, summer, fall 2015)
Submit Fifth-year Interim Report and QEP Impact Report (March 25, 2016)
Dr. Jo Allen, President (Chair)
Laura Davidson, Dean of Library Information Services
Dr. Jean Jackson, Vice-President for College Programs
Dr. Dianne Raubenheimer, Director of Research, Planning and Assessment
Others to be announced
Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Committee
Tim Hendrix, Mathematics (Director)
Ann Gleason, Dean of Students (Chair)
Kelly Roberts, English
Marie Summerel, Academic and Career Planning
Callie DeBellis, Foreigh Languages and Literature
Lisa Pearce, Art
Monica McKinney, Education
Liz Wolfinger, Vice-president for Academic Programs
Dianne Raubenheimer, Director of Research, Planning and Assessment
Broad campus involvement is very important to the success of Meredith’s ongoing reaffirmation efforts. In 2007-08, many members of the community were involved in helping to identify a focus area for the Quality Enhancement Plan, and the QEP Committee will continue to encourage participation in implementing and assessing the QEP topic.
The Leadership Team has assumed responsibility for preparing responses and collecting documentation for the Fifth-year Interim Report, but many people across the campus have been asked to assist with these efforts by serving on work groups or providing information. The Leadership Team and QEP Committee will seek to keep students, faculty and staff informed about progress and about ways to participate.