Friday, March 12, 2010

Tennessee State University Prepares For SACS Reaffirmation On-site Review

Tennessee State University’s accreditation reaffirmation officials will welcome an on-site review from a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges committee this month. This on-campus visit marks the fourth step of an extensive process of reaffirming the University’s accreditation, as regulated by SACS. 

On March 23-25, delegates from the SACS Commission on Colleges will evaluate the institution’s compliance with preliminary observations made by a SACS Off-Site committee, as well as the acceptability of the institution’s Quality Enhancement Plan, W.R.I.T.E. (WriteReflectIntegrateTransferExcel), a comprehensive approach to writing within the upper level disciplines. 

W.R.I.T.E. program combines existing resources like the First-Year Writing Program with faculty development, student support and e-portfolio technology. It also outlines a foundation for building long-term institutional support for a more ambitious and integrated general education core at the University. 

Dr. Timothy Quain, the University’s accreditation liaison officer, has overseen a task force comprised of faculty and administrators that has guided the reaffirmation process from addressing the observations of the off-site review to developing the quality enhancement program, preparing a focused report in response to issues raised in the preliminary review and notifying the campus of the upcoming visit.

“It is our expectation that TSU's accreditation will be reaffirmed. The reaffirmation process is a part of a unified system of assessment for the University. This is the first of many steps to create a system of ongoing research-based planning and assessment,” said Quain, who has worked on SACS reaffirmation committees for the last 22 years.

Following the on-site visit, the SACS committee will then provide a written analysis of its findings, including any formal recommendations of non-compliance with specific accreditation standards. The report of the committee will be forwarded back to the University for its response and to the Compliance and Reports Committee of the Commission on Colleges for its review. The Commission on Colleges will then make its decision on TSU’s reaffirmation in December.

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