Whether your institution is a first-time applicant or seeking reaffirmation, preparing for an accreditation review can be a huge undertaking with many moving parts. Your course catalog is an important piece of that puzzle. To make the process simpler, we’ve compiled a checklist of what The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires in your catalog or handbook.
Per Standard 3.14, you are required to clearly state your institution’s affiliation with SACSCOC in your course catalog. You must publicly disclose your institution’s current accreditation status with SACSCOC, along with the name, address, and phone number of your primary accreditor. Luckily, SACSOC makes this simple by providing a template. You must choose one of the statements below based on your accreditation status, edit the placeholders with your institution’s information, and publish the statement on either your website or catalog.
Statement for Accredited Institutions
(Name of member institution) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award (name specific degree levels, such as associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate). Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of (name of member institution).
Statement for Candidate Institutions
(Name of candidate institution) is a candidate for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award (name specific degree levels, such as associate, baccalaureate, masters, doctorate). Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of (name of candidate institution).
According to Section 10.3 of their Accreditation Principles, SACSCOC also requires your institution to provide catalog archives from previous years when using an electronic course catalog.
Submitting your Catalog to SACSCOC
One of your first steps in applying for accreditation with SACSCOC will be to submit a Compliance Certification to show that your institution is in compliance with the Core Requirements, Comprehensive Standards, and Federal Requirements. A copy of your catalog will be required with submission. Your Student Handbook and Faculty Handbook aren’t required, but can be used as supplemental evidence that your institution is in accordance with SACSCOC standards.
After submitting your application to SACSCOC, the next step in the accreditation process will be hosting two committee site visits to your institution. Your catalog must be submitted, either in print or electronically, to the On-Site Committee 4-6 weeks prior to the on-site visit. You will be required to provide one copy of the catalog to each committee member, as well as two additional copies for the commission staff representative. This process will be repeated twice, once for the Candidacy Committee site visit and again for the Accreditation Committee site visit. If your institution is applying to renew its accreditation, the copies of your catalog will be sent to the Reaffirmation Committee instead.
Locations or Publications Where Policies Can Be Found
To view the most up-to-date information about applying for accreditation with SACSCOC, you can visit the accreditation process and requirements section of their website.