The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the recognized regional accrediting body in the eleven U.S. Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees. To maintain accreditation with the Commission on Colleges, an institution must comply with the standards and requirements in The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement, and with the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is one of only a few accrediting commissions that conducts a comprehensive review of its institutions every ten years. Most accrediting agencies conduct such reviews every 5 to 7 years. The U.S. Department of Education requires accrediting agencies that it recognizes to monitor its institutions more often to ensure that institutions having access to federal funds continue to meet accreditation standards. To that end, the Commission has developed a Fifth-Year Interim Report. The University of South Carolina Columbia submitted a fifth-year interim report in 2017.
The Commission reaffirms the accreditation of an institution as a totality. This accreditation extends beyond the parent campus to include all centers, branches, campuses, or other sites at which postsecondary degree or non-degree work is offered as well as all work offered through distance learning and correspondence education. The institution must include the review of all its operations in its Compliance Certification and the Commission will review them during the institution’s reaffirmation. The University of South Carolina Columbia will be reviewed by SACSCOC for reaffirmation of accreditation in 2021.