Accreditation and Reaffirmation at Texas State
Texas State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges (COC) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the regional accrediting organization for eleven states in the southeastern United States, including Texas. Texas State last went through the reaccreditation process in 2010. In fall 2009, Texas State submited its Certification of Compliance document to an off-site review committee that determined the extent of our compliance with core requirements, comprehensive standards, and federal regulations contained in the Principles of Accreditation. In early spring, 2010, we submited our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), and on March 23-25, 2010, an on-site SACS visiting committee came to our campus to review our QEP and assess the educational strengths and weaknesses of our institution. Our process was deemed successful and Texas State University was reaffirmed in December 2010.
The Principles of Accreditation, first introduced in 2001, illustrates significant changes in the approach SACS takes to accreditation. While the previous method emphasized a uniform set of standards or “must” statements for all institutions, the new approach is much less prescriptive, allowing institutions to engage in quality enhancement within the framework of their own mission and goals. The new philosophy states that “The Commission on Colleges expects institutions to dedicate themselves to enhancing the quality of their programs and services within the context of their resources and capacities and to create an environment in which teaching, public service, research, and learning occur, as appropriate to the mission.” With this flexibility comes greater responsibility for Texas State to consistently review and assess processes related to these expectations.
Texas State has long participated in process improvement to support student learning and success. We have demonstrated our belief in a “living” strategic plan that is regularly reviewed for progress toward our goals. We have an ongoing system for creating and assessing student learning outcomes to enhance our academic programs. We also use this system to assess and improve educational and support outcomes. However, the SACS reaffirmation provides an opportunity for us to review all processes related to institutional effectiveness to ensure that the philosophy of quality enhancement is never lost. The SACS Institutional Effectiveness Calendar highlights some of the many steps we take to ensure that our reaffirmation is a successful one, including a SACS audit, numerous workshops and open forums, and the formulation of important teams, task forces, and committees to oversee the work of our reaffirmation.
Core Requirement 2.12 of the Principles of Accreditation calls for the University to prepare a Quality Enhancement Plan. The QEP focuses on improving some aspect of the educational component of the institution that enhances the quality of student learning. The implementation of this plan represents a strategic and financial commitment on the part of the University. For that reason, we solicited feedback from numerous groups and individuals in choosing our area for improvement.
The SACS Web site provides important information related to Texas State's confirmed accreditation. If you have questions about the content included in this site, please feel free to contact Dr. Beth Wuest, Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and SACS Liaison.