The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master's, or doctoral degrees. The Commission also accepts applications from other international institutions of higher education.

The mission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions.

SACSCOC has six core values:

  • Integrity
  • Continuous quality improvement
  • Peer review/self regulation
  • Accountability
  • Student learning
  • Transparency

SACSCOC Standards

Following are SACSCOC standards related to institutional effectiveness:

Core Standard

2.5 The institution engages in ongoing, integrated, and institution-wide research-based planning and evaluation processes that:

(1) incorporate a systematic review of institutional mission, goals, and outcomes;
(2) result in continuing improvement in institutional quality; and
(3) demonstrate the institution is effectively accomplishing its mission.

Comprehensive Standards

3.3.1 The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on the analysis of the results in each of the following areas: educational programs, to include student learning outcomes administrative support services academic and student support services research within its mission, if appropriate community/public service within its mission, if appropriate

"A commitment to continuous improvement is at the heart of an on-going planning and evaluation process. It is a continuous, cyclical process that is participative, strategic, flexible, relevant, and responsive. An approach to institutional effectiveness includes all programs, services, and constituencies; is strongly linked to the decision-making process at all levels; and provides a sound basis for budget decisions, resource allocations, and plans for institutional improvement."

SACSCOC Resource Manual, 2012 Edition, p. 16