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Appalachian Receives SACS Reaccreditation

BOONE–The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has reaffirmed Appalachian State University’s accreditation for another 10 years. The action came during the organization’s annual meeting held this week in San Antonio, Texas. The reaffirmation follows a two-year extensive self-study and an on-site review by a SACS reaffirmation committee.

Reaccreditation is required for an institution’s continued eligibility for federal student aid and research grants and continued recognition of the university’s credits and degrees by other institutions.

“The SACS report validates more than two years of assessment by faculty and staff and reaffirms Appalachian’s commitment to undergraduate instruction and public service and outreach,” said Chancellor Frank Borkowski.

The committee’s report cited no weaknesses and made only three recommendations. Those recommendations related to criteria ensuring that faculty, including those teaching in the university’s distance learning programs, have the appropriate academic credentials, and that the duties of the chancellor and vice chancellors be included in appropriate staff and faculty publications.

The visiting committee also commended the university’s long-standing commitment to the humanities and cultural outreach efforts.

The low number of recommendations are rare for an institution and reflect highly on Appalachian, according to SACS staff.

“Widespread opportunities to participate in learning communities greatly enrich many aspects of student learning at Appalachian,” said Dr. John W. Prados, chairman of the visiting committee. Prados is vice president emeritus, University of Tennessee.

“Particularly laudable has been the university’s long-standing and continued commitment to quality undergraduate education. Although unanimity of opinion is not possible or even desirable in an academic institution, a great many of the Appalachian State faculty, staff and administrators seem to share a set of values focused on excellence in undergraduate education and genuine concern for students,” Prados said.

SACS reaccreditation occurs at 10-year intervals. Appalachian’s last reaffirmation occurred in 1992. Appalachian has been a member of SACS since 1942.