The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is a private, nonprofit, voluntary organization founded in 1895 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Association is comprised of the Commission on Colleges, which accredits higher education degree-granting institutions, and the Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, which accredits elementary, middle, and secondary schools.
The Commission on Colleges bases its accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions and entities on requirements in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement. These requirements apply to all institutional programs and services, wherever located or however delivered. The Commission on Colleges applies the requirements of its Principles to all applicant, candidate, and member institutions, regardless of the type of institution: private for-profit, private not-for-profit, or public.
The University of Mary Washington was first accredited by SACS in 1930, and its accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2003. The next reaffirmation of accreditation review is scheduled for 2013. As part of the reaffirmation process, the UMW will provide two separate documents: a Compliance Certification, and a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).
The Commission evaluates an institution and makes accreditation decisions based on the following:
- Compliance with the Principle of Integrity (Section 1)
- Compliance with the Core Requirements (Section 2)
- Compliance with the Comprehensive Standards (Section 3)
- Compliance with additional Federal Requirements (Section 4)
- Compliance with the policies of the Commission on Colleges (See
Appendix for definition, description, and reference to policies. Access
Commission’s Web page: www.sacscoc.org.)