University reaffirms accreditation through SACS self evaluation

From your grants and loans to your classroom experience, your best interest is being questioned and answered by over 81 standards and principles addressed in a self study submitted to be reviewed byan off-sight review team on November 3-6, for the accreditation of Sam Houston State University,required by the SouthernAssociation of Colleges and Schools.

“The cost of higher education has shifted from being largely funded by the tax payer to now being largely funded by the recipient of education.

More and more students need financial assistance. It is important for a university to maintain accreditation, so students can be eligible,” said Dr. Mitchell J. Muehsam, dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The mission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is the improvement of education in the south through accreditation.

The department of education requires universities to be eligible for funding to be accredited. The affirmation establishes why and how the university meets the requirements necessary for the approval of certification by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“On a regular cycle, the university is asked to generate a very substantial evaluation to determine if the university is or is not in compliance with the SACS standards or principles,” Dr. Muehsam said.

The standards and principles evaluate a wide array of concepts including the legality to offer degrees. The self-study also makes sure the curriculum is appropriate and proper procedures are in order.

“I can’t say it often enough, we all benefit if we help our students succeed,” Dr. Muehsam said.

According to Dr. Muehsam, the Quality Enhancement Plan is one of the changes made by SACS that could aid in the improvement of our university.

“The plan if successful should enhance student learning,” Dr. Muehsam said.

The plan picked by the university could involve more focus in improving the science reasoning courses, with a possible change in hours required, by non-science majors.

“Students are here to get an education. It is important for them to be aware of the Q.E.P., to feel confident in the leadership of the University and how we access the publication and procedure,” Dr. Muehsam said.

Over 81 standards and over 1,400 unique supporting documents, which are available on the SHSU website by clicking the SACS Affirmation link on the bottom of the home page, were submitted on September 10th from the university to the off-sight review team.

“We never stop evaluating, we put greater emphasis on things. Sacs called it ‘continuous improvement’. You should always be doing your job,” Dr. Muehsam said.

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