The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has announced that it has reaffirmed the accreditation of the University of South Alabama.
The regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states made the announcement Dec. 10 at its annual meeting in Atlanta. The reaffirmation of accreditation is the culmination of more than two years of work by faculty, staff and administrators.
“The reaffirmation by SACS is truly a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff and the high quality academic programs and services offered by the University,” said University of South Alabama Acting President Dr. John Smith.
“The leadership of the University of South Alabama is committed to achieving an ever higher standard of excellence,” said Dr. Steven Furr, chairman of the USA Board of Trustees. “We are gratified by this recognition and we are motivated to continue providing an outstanding educational opportunity to the people we serve.”
Reaffirmation of accreditation is required every 10 years and involved off-site and on-site reviews based on a set of core requirements, comprehensive standards and federal requirements. The review also required the development of a Quality Enhancement Plan targeted at improving student learning and supporting the mission of the University.
At the University of South Alabama that plan is Team USA, a team-based learning approach that is being expanded from a successful pilot program. The program uses individual and group work as well as immediate feedback to create a framework in which students increasingly hold each other accountable for coming to class prepared and ready to contribute to discussions.
Team USA is designed to improve student learning and success in science, technology, engineering, math and health disciplines; foster higher levels of critical thinking and problem-solving; enhance collaboration and communication; and allow students to experience real-world application of content.
USA submitted its compliance certification document to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in fall 2012. That document was reviewed by an off-site committee, and that review was followed by a campus visit earlier this year.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ territory includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America.