ASU Receives Reaffirmation of Accreditation from SACSCOC
By Hazel Scott/ASU
President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., held a celebratory reception/news conference on Tuesday, Dec. 7, to make a major announcement related to the future of the University.
“Today, I’m proud to announce that as of this morning, just a few short hours ago, I can say with great pride that we did it! ASU has full accreditation for another 10 years. It’s been an incredible journey to get to this day.” Ross’s announcement caused an eruption of applause from the crowd that gathered for the event.
The University’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), notified ASU today that SACSCOC reaffirmed the University’s accreditation status for the next 10 years. The announcement is the successful outcome of a process that began four years ago and comes as part of the accrediting organization’s annual meeting held this month in New Orleans. ASU officials pointed out that the reaffirmation is without sanctions or major findings, which is a tremendous accomplishment for the University.
Ross thanked the SACSCOC Board of Trustees for its approval and Dr. Linda Thomas Glover, Vice President of SACSCOC, for her guidance. He also thanked the ASU Board of Trustees for their support during the reaffirmation process, his leadership team and all the people at ASU who played a major role in “making this day happen.”
“Upholding the standards set forth by SACSCOC and receiving reaffirmation of accreditation demonstrates that the ASU faculty, staff, and administration are dedicated to providing our students with the highest-quality education possible. Our team did an exceptional job throughout the entire process.”
The University was first accredited by SASCOC in 1935, lost its accreditation in 1961 because of the University’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and regained its accreditation in 1966. ASU was last reaffirmed in 2010.
“The reaffirmation signifies that Alabama State University has the processes and measures in place to support our efforts to educate our students with excellence….It’s necessary to ensure that Alabama State continues to operate at the highest level of academic integrity, and that we are committed to the continuous improvement of our processes, which is at the heart of SACSCOC, our accrediting agency. Educational Excellence is at the heart of our vision, it’s the foundation of our mission and it’s our banner as we focus on student success,” Ross said.
SACSCOC requires all colleges and universities in the Southeast to make a case once every decade that they are compliant with all 14 sections of the Core Requirements and Standards of the Principles of Accreditation.
Accreditation is required for students to be eligible for federal and state student aid and for the University to offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. It also affects the transferability of credits. Foundations and individuals who offer grants and donations are also interested in the quality of an institution’s educational experience.
SACSCOC Institutional Accreditation Liaison at ASU and Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, Dr. Christine C. Thomas, was emotional when she talked about ASU’s reaffirmation of accreditation.
“Today is definitely a day of celebration. Our reaffirmation demonstrates our ability to transcend through a rigorous review process with compliance in 14 sections of the Principles of Accreditation to ensure that we are meeting all requirements for all standards,” Thomas said. “…We are ready for the next reaffirmation.”
Dr. Tanjula Petty, associate provost for Student Success and Special Initiatives, who worked along with Thomas during the reaffirmation process, said reaffirmation is a huge undertaking, involving many of ASU faculty and staff who spent countless hours researching, documenting and writing, above and beyond their regular work responsibilities.
“Earning reaffirmation was the result of years of hard work by many people. It confirms that ASU provides a quality education to our students and that the College operates in an ethical and responsible manner,” Petty said. “For two years, Thomas and I were joined at the hips. We laughed, we cried, and encouraged each other during the process.”
Petty noted that the process to get reaffirmation starts with a Compliance Certification, a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), an Off-Site Reaffirmation Review, an On-Site Reaffirmation Review, and finally a Review by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees.
“Being accredited and in good standing with SACSCOC assures our constituents and the public of the quality and integrity of Alabama State University (ASU) and its programs,” Petty said. “…Alabama State University is going up and nothing can stop us.”
Brenda Brown Dillard, President Pro Tem of the ASU Board of Trustees, and Trustee Tiffany B. McCord said nothing would have stopped them from attending this momentous occasion.
“I’m not only proud to be President Pro Tem, but I’m also proud to be a graduate of The Alabama State University,” said Dillard. “We are here today because of the MVPs sitting before us today (Thomas and Petty) and the leadership of Dr. Ross, Dr. Rolle and the Dream Team (President’s Cabinet), administrators and students. A job well done.”
McCord echoed Dillard. “I’m simply proud,” McCord said. “Thomas and Petty did what many institutions across this United States couldn’t – to receive the accreditation that ASU has. We have full accreditation without a single blemish. That means when you send your child to ASU, they can go anywhere. We will prepare them to go anywhere.”
“Accreditation signifies that the University maintains a mission that is appropriate to higher education and has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, among other objectives,” said Ross.
Both Thomas and Petty, whom Ross called rock stars, thanked Dr. Ross for his stable leadership and unwavering support.
“Our reaffirmation is a testimony to you that you didn’t just want ASU to be good but great,” Thomas said.
The event ended with the cutting of a celebratory cake.