SACSCOC Accreditation

Accreditation of Texas A&M University was reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in December 2012. Additionally, the merger with the Health Science Center and the acquisition of the law school was approved in December 2014.

The fifth year interim report for Texas A&M University is due to SACSCOC in March, 2018, while the next reaffirmation of accreditation is scheduled for 2022 (documentation due September, 2022). The links below direct you to useful information about the reaffirmation process.

How often does SACSCOC reaffirm our accreditation?
Typically, an institution is reaffirmed every 10 years.

What is the timeline for this reaffirmation of accreditation?
Texas A&M’s compliance certification, a lengthy 500-page document, is due to SACSCOC in September, 2021. This document is reviewed by an off-site team of our peers to determine if the institution is in compliance with more than 30 requirements and standards that include over 97 different sections. Texas A&M receives the results of this report early in 2022 to address any shortcomings. Then, an on-site review team of our peers visits campus in spring 2022 to follow up and to hear a presentation of the institution’s new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).   

Why is accreditation necessary for Texas A&M?
As we prepare for the on-site visit in spring 2022, there will be opportunities for campus members to ask questions, hear more about what SACSCOC expects of TAMU, and offer suggestions for improving our effectiveness as an institution of higher learning.

The SACSCOC Leadership Team's overall responsibility is "to manage and validate the internal institutional assessment of compliance." The membership of the committee "normally include[s] the chief executive officer, the chief academic officer, the accreditation liaison, and a representative faculty member" (Handbook for Institutions Seeking Reaffirmation, 15). One responsibility of the team is to coordinate and manage the internal review process, including reviewing reports and representing Texas A&M University to external review teams.

The members of Texas A&M's SACSCOC Leadership Team are:
  • Michael K. Young, president,
  • Karan L. Watson, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs,
  • Michael T. Stephenson, associate provost for academic affairs and SACSCOC Liaison,
  • Jerry Strawser, vice president for finance and administration and CFO
  • Leonard Bierman, professor of management and speaker-elect of the Faculty Senate

The members of Texas A&M's SACSCOC Steering Committee are:
  • Michael T. Stephenson, associate provost for academic affairs and SACSCOC Liaison
  • Alicia M. Dorsey, assistant provost for institutional effectiveness
  • Jerry Strawser, vice president for finance and administration and CFO
  • Michael Benedik, vice provost
  • Vernon Tesh, associate vice president for academic affairs, HSC
  • Blanca Lupiani, executive associate dean of faculties 
  • Joseph P. Pettibon, associate vice president for academic services
  • Deena J. McConnell, associate vice president for administration and academic affairs
  • J. Martin Scholtz, executive associate vice president for research

September 1, 2021 – Compliance Certification and Institutional Summary submitted

Off-site review – November 2021

On-site review – spring 2022

Final review by the Commission on Colleges – December 2022

What is SACS?
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

SACS is the acronym for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (founded 1895), whose Commission on Colleges is the accrediting body for Texas A&M University. Its accurate, full abbreviation is SACSCOC. There are 8 accrediting bodies in 6 U.S. regions. Each is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit institutions in their regions. Approximately 80 institutions undergo review each year by SACSCOC.

SACSCOC’s written philosophy is that the most effective institutional reviews are conducted by peers; that institutional integrity should be a given; that the enhancement of quality and the commitment to constant improvement are institutional responsibilities; and that student learning is paramount.
sacscoc.org

What should faculty members know about SACSCOC and the reaffirmation process?
That SACSCOC is committed to the centrality of faculty; that accreditation is necessary for federal funding; that student learning is a primary consideration; and that faculty involvement is essential to our success.

Many of the Core Requirements (C.R.), Comprehensive Standards (C.S.), and even Federal Requirements (F.R.) addressed in our Compliance Certification revolve around the faculty’s central role in institutions of higher education. For example, C.R. 2.8 asks us to demonstrate that the number of full-time faculty members is sufficient to support our mission and maintain academic program quality.  C.S. 3.4.12 asks us to demonstrate that the "primary responsibility" for curriculum content, quality, and effectiveness lies with the faculty. And C.S. 3.7 asks for extensive documentation of faculty qualifications.   

How often do we participate and why do we participate?
Continually, with formal application for reaffirmation every ten years, because of required approvals for substantive change, eligibility for federal funds, and assessment of institutional quality. 

What is a QEP?
An institutional Quality Enhancement Plan focused on improving student learning.

The QEP as described by SACSCOC is a "carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning." It should be integral to the institution’s character and mission.