SACSCOC Reaffirms Southern Virginia’s Accreditation for Next Decade
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) — the oldest, largest and most prestigious accreditor of colleges and universities in the southern United States — today reaffirmed Southern Virginia University’s regional accreditation for the next decade through 2027.
“Continued accreditation is the culmination of many years of effort,” said Jon Wallin, Southern Virginia University Director of Institutional Effectiveness. “It speaks to the work and dedication of our faculty and staff, and reaffirms our mission to provide an excellent education in a Latter-day Saint environment.”
Southern Virginia’s efforts to receive accreditation from SACSCOC began around 2007. The process involved an ongoing effort from university administration, staff, and faculty to become a candidate school, to receive initial accreditation, and to have that accreditation reaffirmed.
As part of the reaffirmation process, Southern Virginia submitted a Compliance Certificate and an Institutional Summary to SACSCOC for off-site review in Mar. 2016. After an on-site review of the Certificate in Oct. 2016, an external committee of university administrators from the Commission recommended Southern Virginia to the SACSCOC Board of Trustees for reaffirmation.
“The Board’s decision indicates a move into new territory for Southern Virginia University,” Wallin said. “For the first time, we’ll be on a ten-year calendar for reaffirmation, a signal that the faculty, staff, academic programs, and all other areas of operation remain at the high level of excellence expected by SACSCOC.”
In addition to a Compliance Certificate and an Institutional Summary, Southern Virginia also created and submitted a five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) focused on the improvement of student writing. The university’s QEP, titled “Knights Write,” focuses on the creation of additional writing resources for students, including a more robust student writing center and a new core course aimed at improving research and writing skills during a student’s sophomore or junior year in college.
“During the on-site visit, the committee was impressed with our QEP, which is generally seen as the primary component of reaffirmation,” said Provost Scott Dransfield. “‘Knights Write’ is an initiative that will result in significant student learning. SACSCOC offered nothing but encouragement in our full implementation of the plan.
“The importance of this success cannot be overstated,” Dransfield added. “Reaffirmation with SACSCOC gives the university full recognition and legitimacy in the larger community of higher education in the southeast region of the United States.”
In addition to regional accreditation, Southern Virginia University is certified by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to operate and grant baccalaureate degrees.