Phases of the Reaffirmation Process:
Phase One: Preparation
1. The Orientation Meeting: The institution will attend a session at the SACSCOC Annual Meeting in December and speak with its assigned Commission staff representative. Then, in January the Commission staff will conduct a conference call with the institution’s Reaffirmation Team to discuss issues pertaining to the completion of the Compliance Certification, and the development of the QEP.
2. Advisory Visit: This is an optional visit as a follow up to the orientation meeting.
Phase Two: Off-Site Review
3. Compliance Certification: The institution prepares and submits its Compliance Certification (previously known as a Self-Study), relevant supporting documentation, and an updated Institutional Summary Form.
4. Off-Site Review and Report: The Off-Site Reaffirmation Committee reviews the institution’s Compliance Certification and meets to finalize a report of its findings.
5. Review of the Report: Commission staff sends the Off-Site Reaffirmation Committee report to the institution and invites the Leadership Team to schedule a conference call with them to discuss the findings.
Phase Three: On-Site Review
6. Materials for the Committee: The Commission sends the On-Site Reaffirmation Committee a copy of the Off-Site Reaffirmation Committee’s report. The institution submits an updated Institutional Summary Form, Compliance Certification, catalog(s), written response to Third Party comment (if applicable), Quality Enhancement Plan, and Focused Report (if needed) to the Commission and to the On-Site Reaffirmation Committee members.
7. On-Site Visit and Report: The On-Site Reaffirmation Committee visits the institution, including a selection of off-campus sites, to evaluate and determine the acceptability of the QEP, to review areas of non-compliance, to review standards and requirements related to the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education, and to review any areas of concern that may surface during the visit. The On-Site Reaffirmation Committee completes the Report of the Reaffirmation Committee (a combination of the Off-Site and On-site reviews) and submits to the Commission. Commission staff sends the Committee’s findings to the institution. The institution has the ability to fact check the report.
Phase Four: Board of Trustees Review
8. Response to the Visiting Committee Report: The institution prepares a response to the recommendations in the Report of the Reaffirmation Committee if needed and submits it to the Commission along with a copy of the QEP. The Commission staff sends a copy of the response to the Chair of the On-Site Reaffirmation Committee for evaluation. The Chair, along with the institution’s assigned Commission staff representative, send a recommendation to the Commission Board of Trustees for final consideration.
9. Board of Trustees Action: After review of the three primary reaffirmation documents, and two analyses of the institution’s response, the SACSCOC Board of Trustees takes action on the institution’s reaffirmation.
A detailed description of the process and timelines can be found in the Handbook for Institutions Seeking Reaffirmation at www.sacscoc.org.