Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Grants Accreditation Reaffirmation Jan. 5 to FGCU
FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University received official accreditation reaffirmation in a Jan. 5 letter from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools following a recommendation from the Executive Council of SACS' Commission on Colleges during its annual meeting in December.
Accreditation granted by a recognized regional accrediting body, such as SACS, is the hallmark of quality higher education, signifying that an institution of higher education meets a prescribed set of standards. The Commission on Colleges carries out the accreditation process.
Following an earlier on-site visit by SACS representatives, the Council's decision in December certifies FGCU's substantial compliance with 76 wide-ranging standards and requirements, including two recommendations, and acceptance of the University's Quality Enhancement Plan.
"The Commission accepted FGCU's Quality Enhancement Plan - which is designed to improve student learning - without recommendations. That is exceptional," President William C. Merwin said.
The visiting committee's recommendations to FGCU's Compliance Certification include completing a planning and assessment cycle pertaining to education goals in one college, and fully implementing FGCU's plan to assess college-level competencies. FGCU has two years to comply with the recommendations.
SACS requires FGCU to submit a First Monitoring Report, or follow-up, in September addressing the two recommendations. All institutions submit an impact report on the QEP five years after reaffirmation review.
The Executive Council of the Commission on Colleges, comprised of one elected commissioner from each of the 11 member states, a public member and the chair of the Commission, met on Dec. 5. The final vote by the full 77-member Commission on Colleges occurred the next day.
FGCU received initial accreditation in 1999 from the Commission on Colleges of SACS to award associate, baccalaureate and master's degrees.
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