Five months until SACSCOC visits Auburn: Five things to look forward to with the accreditation process

Published: October 27, 2022

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As reported last month, Auburn University completed the first phase of the reaffirmation process for its accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC, and submitted the Compliance Certification Report, or CCR. With just less than five months until SACSCOC visits our campus, the Accreditation team in the Provost’s Office wants to share the top five things to look forward to in the next stages of the accreditation process:

1. Getting feedback from the off-site committee in November

The CCR was sent out to the off-site committee for review in September and we will get feedback on the report in late November. This feedback will tell us where our many strengths are and give us insight into preparing for the on-site visit. The off-site committee will evaluate our compliance with each of SACSCOC’s 72 standards and we’ll have an opportunity to submit a follow-up report on any that are noted as non-compliant in this preliminary stage. This Focused Report is due in early January and is our chance to prepare responses to their questions ahead of the on-site review committee’s visit.

2. Finding out who our full on-site committee is

We’re excited to learn who will comprise the on-site review committee and what specializations they'll be bringing to the on-site visit. The on-site reaffirmation committee consists of 7-12 individuals from peer institutions who have expertise in accreditation, SACSCOC’s policies, and specific areas of the CCR such as academic assessment, finances, and student services. Each member of the committee will bring a unique perspective and set of specialties to help thoroughly assess Auburn University and help us learn and grow as an institution.

3. The on-site visit Feb. 28-March 2, 2023

We’re looking forward to showing off our campus and highlighting our outstanding instructional facilities. We’re also eager to engage in several days of fruitful discussion with the committee during the on-site visit. Students, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to share their experiences and expertise with the on-site reviewers. We know the committee will be impressed at every turn.

4. Sharing the initial results of our QEP

Six weeks before the on-site visit, Auburn will submit the Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, to SACSCOC. The goal of the QEP is to initiate, implement, and complete a project targeted at improving student learning outcomes and/or student success. The focus of the QEP is intended to align with the University’s other ongoing institutional planning and evaluation processes—in other words, the University’s Strategic Plan. This year’s QEP is being championed by the Office of Academic Insight and is focused on using data to improve students’ post-graduation outcomes through the Insight Lab and the Auburn Achieve Bright Idea seed grants project. We’re excited to see the QEP pilots/seed grants come into action and their early results, and even more excited to share those exciting projects with the committee.

5. Our reaffirmation in December 2023

What we’re most looking forward to is the official announcement of the reaffirmation of our accreditation in December 2023 at the SACSCOC annual meeting! The reaffirmation will be the culmination of the last 10 years of growth and progress at Auburn University and mark the end of more than two-years of hard work by the Accreditation team and the many people across campus who aided them.

For more about Auburn’s accreditation efforts, visit our website.

Submitted by: Mark DeGoti