Tarleton State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Tarleton may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

Tarleton was initially accredited by the SACSCOC in 1926 and granted reaffirmation of accreditation in 2010. The reaffirmation of accreditation process occurs every ten years. This schedule places Tarleton’s next reaffirmation of accreditation in 2031. The reaffirmation process requires the support of the entire university and is accomplished by faculty and staff working together to develop a Compliance Certification report and Quality Enhancement Plan.

What is SACSCOC Accreditation?

Accreditation is the acknowledgement and certification that an institution has met the standards of a specific accrediting body. In the United States, there are seven regional accrediting bodies for degree granting higher education institutions. The SACSCOC is the accrediting body for the Southern states region. This region includes Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The SACSCOC’s mission is to assure educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions. One way the SACSCOC accomplishes this mission is through the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation Foundations for Quality Enhancement. These principles are the standards to which institutions comply for accreditation. When the SACSCOC awards accreditation to an institution, it confirms that the institution has a mission that is suitable for higher education and that the institution has adequate programs, resources, and services to achieve and continually support their mission. Receiving SACSCOC accreditation awards institutions degree granting authority.

Why is reaccreditation important to Tarleton?

Reaffirmation is important because Tarleton is committed to student success and providing an academically challenging education that is grounded in effective teaching and scholarship. Receiving reaffirmation of accreditation allows Tarleton to fulfill this commitment by awarding valid degrees and providing students with opportunities to receive Title IV funding. Additionally, reaffirmation assures that Tarleton has an endorsed plan of continual improvement and the resources required to sustain and accomplish its mission.

What is the process and why?

Universities begin the process of reaffirmation by writing a Compliance Certification report and a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The Compliance Certification report is a self-study report in which universities evaluate their level of compliance to the SACSCOC principles. Universities report their compliance level by including a narrative and supporting evidence for each principle. These principles cover areas of the universities’ governance, administration, missions, programs, services, resources, and representation.

The QEP is the university’s succinct plan of action to enhance student learning and success. This plan focuses on a defined topic or issues that are identified through data analysis. The plan contains measurable goals related to its topic or issues that allow the university to evaluate whether progress is being achieved during the QEP’s implementation. The QEP is financially attainable and enacted by administration. The plan requires the broad-based support of institutional constituencies and should be completed within five years. Throughout the plan’s implementation, the university will continually and systematically assess it. After five years, the university will report the QEP’s impact to the SACSCOC.

Approximately six months before the university’s scheduled reaffirmation on-site visit, the university will submit its’ Compliance Certification report to an off-site review committee. The off-site committee will review the compliance report and relay their preliminary findings to an on-site committee. The on-site committee will review these preliminary findings, the Compliance Certification report, and the university’s QEP. To complete these reviews, the on-site committee will visit the university’s campus and a sample of the university’s off-site locations over a period of three days. During those three days, the committee will analyze data and conduct interviews to evaluate the QEP. Committee members will determine the university’s level of compliance to the SACSCOC principles. Before leaving, the on-site committee will present an exit report to the president and select university officials.

The on-site committee’s report and the university’s response to this report will be reviewed by the SACSCOC’s Committee on Compliance and Reports. This committee will make a recommendation regarding the university’s compliance to the SACSCOC’s Executive Council. After reviewing this recommendation, the Executive Council will recommend action to the Commission on Colleges, which will decide whether the university receives reaccreditation.