The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees.
Title IV of the Higher Education Act requires that higher education institutions receiving federal funds be accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. SACSCOC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a regional accrediting agency.
To maintain accreditation, an institution must comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and with SACSCOC policies.
Institutional accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental peer review process overseen by the higher education community that assures academic quality, accountability, and continuous improvement of member institutions. Institutional accreditation by a recognized regional accrediting agency qualifies University students to apply for federal financial aid and University researchers to apply for federally funded research grants. Accreditation status also affirms for other institutions the value of credits qualifying for transfer. States rely on accreditation to judge whether institutions or programs are of a quality to merit licensing or funding