"The process for initial and continued accreditation involves a collective analysis and judgment by the institution's internal constituencies, an informed review by peers external to the institution, and a reasoned decision by the elected members of the Commission on Colleges."
-The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement
The evaluation of an institution for reaffirmation of accreditation is based on compliance with the Principle of Integrity, the Core Requirements, the Comprehensive Standards, Federal Requirements, and the policies of the Commission on Colleges (COC). The reaffirmation of accreditation process is an eight step process that involves the following:
Orientation of the institution's leadership team by COC staff.
Submission of a Compliance Report with supporting documentation, which is the result of an internal assessment by the university of compliance with COC requirements and standards listed in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement, along with annual institutional profiles;
An off-site review of the Compliance Report and documents by a team of peers selected by COC;
Submission of a Focus Report in response to the Off-Site Committee's findings, if necessary;
Development and submission of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that represents a university-wide focus on a plan to enhance student learning;
An on-site review by a second team of peers to evaluate the QEP and to follow-up on any areas of concern that were in non-compliance;
Respond to the On-Site Committee report;
Action by the Commission at the annual December meeting.
Generally, the entire reaffirmation process spans over three years, from the identification of the internal committees to the announcement of reaffirmation of accreditation. This process involves all facets of the university in examining its effectiveness in providing services and programs consistent with its mission.