The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has finalized its review of Western Carolina University and is satisfied with the monitoring report on five remaining standards from the university’s last decennial review.
SACSCOC had previously reaffirmed WCU accreditation for an additional 10 years last December, a successful outcome to the process of evaluating the university’s academic and administrative programs that began four years ago. The commission requested as a follow up that WCU continue to closely monitor its institutional effectiveness processes, and the university issued a monitoring report in September 2018.
Public announcement that the accrediting body approved of WCU’s efforts to address issues related to institutional effectiveness processes and Jamaica programs came Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the commission’s annual meeting in New Orleans.
“I am pleased that SACSCOC has now validated our ongoing efforts to assess our progress in these areas and endorsed our pursuit of continuous improvement,” Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar said. “There are many, many people who worked diligently to ensure our success in the monitoring report phase of our reaccreditation process.”
Morrison-Shetlar specifically recognized the efforts of Carol Burton, acting provost; Dale Carpenter, professor of special education; Lowell Davis, associate vice chancellor for student success; Susan Fouts, executive director of educational outreach; Brian Gastle, professor of English; Ivy Gibson, chief compliance officer; Brandi Hinnant-Crawford, assistant professor of educational research; Greg Hodges, former director of budgets, financial planning and analysis; Tim Metz, assistant vice chancellor for institutional planning and effectiveness; Chesney Reich, director of the Writing and Learning Commons; Melissa Wargo, chief of staff; and Kim Winter, dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions.
WCU has been continuously accredited by SACSCOC, the university’s institutional accrediting body, since 1946 and last reaffirmed accreditation for a 10-year period in 2007. In addition to ensuring that WCU students are experiencing high-quality academic programs, successful reaffirmation of accreditation determines the university’s eligibility to receive federal and state funding, including student financial aid, and its ability to transfer academic credits with other institutions.
As the major accrediting body for public and private institutions of higher education in the 11 southernmost states, SACSCOC accredits more than 780 universities and colleges in North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia and in Latin America.