By Julia Duvall
Western Carolina University recently got some exciting news from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – WCU’s Fifth-Year Interim Report and the QEP Impact Report were accepted without the need for additional follow-up reporting.
“This was a project spanning two years and involving some 33 university staff,” said Tim Metz, WCU vice chancellor for institutional effectiveness and planning. “This doesn’t include the large number of faculty and staff involved indirectly through contributing to various documents, like continuous improvement reports used as supporting evidence.”
The fifth-year report involves demonstrating compliance with 22 SACSCOC principles of accreditation and if printed, consists of 183 pages of narrative and includes 919 supporting documents used to support compliance.
Now that WCU has submitted the fifth-year and QEP impact report without additional reporting, the university can petition to have differentiated review for the 2027 decennial reaffirmation, which involves demonstrating compliance with 40 principles of accreditation, rather than having to report for all 73 principles.
WCU has been accredited by SACSCOC since 1946 and is accredited to award baccalaureate, masters and doctorate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials, such as certificates and diplomas, at approved degree levels.
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, Virginia and Latin America.
“Completing these reports would not have been possible without the faculty and staff members who collaborated on this alongside their day-to-day tasks for nearly three years,” said WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown. “It’s clear their hard work paid off as both were accepted without any additional follow-up reporting needed. I am incredibly thankful for their dedication and this is a true testament to how incredible WCU’s faculty and staff are.”