SACS accreditation vital to university

Published 6:23 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Troy University is on its way to receiving an accreditation renewal from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. While the accreditation process is a lengthy one, it is definitely a worthwhile process in holding with the highest academic processes, the university will undergo a series of reviews from its peers, including an on-site review and an off site review and finally a review by the Commission on Colleges.

Although it’s vital the university maintain its accreditation for students to be eligible for financial aid, being an accredited school is certainly about more than just money. First and foremost, the commission stresses the important of integrity, which holds basic moral value to most anyone. It’s a good foundation for any part of society, especially an academic institution. According to SACS, there are strict guidelines universities are required to adhere to and even provide documentation to provide proof of what they are doing to maintain the standard. Among these standards are having authority to grant degrees as given to the university by a government agency; having a board of trustees of a least five people; having a clearly defined, comprehensive mission statement; implementing ongoing, integrated and institution-wide research-based planning; and having students enrolled in academic programs and adhering to a certain length of classwork for particular degrees, among other criteria. So, SACS provides for checks and balances in higher education.

But, what impact does SACS accreditation renewal hold for Troy University? Think about it. Over the past five years, Troy University has made strides to get its name out there as a big-name university.

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For a moment, forget about all the hype that goes into athletics, construction and fountains, and get down to what a university is really about. We’re talking about providing quality education to students who are seeking higher education. Troy University has implemented new degree programs, made additions to existing academic programs and worked to strengthen its freshman education program.

Being a SACS-accredited institution is definitely a major card in becoming a big-named university, besides how many students are really going to attend a university where they can’t receive financial assistance? Our guess? Probably not many, unless there are a random abundance of students with parents who have a money tree in their back yard, but with the current state of the economy, that’s extremely doubtful.

Accreditation is an intricate part of maintaining a reputation of excellence, which should be vital to any academic institution.