Friday, December 11, 2015

University of New Orleans' Accreditation Reaffirmed

The University of New Orleans announced that its continuing accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The accreditation process occurs on a 10-year cycle with reviews conducted at the middle and end point of the cycle. Its purpose is to ensure that the University is meeting the highest educational standards. UNO will receive its next full review in 2025. 

The reaffirmation process involves both an off-site and on-site review by peer evaluators to determine compliance with the SACSCOC requirements and standards. The evaluators conducted their on-site visit of UNO in April but the timeline for announcing accreditation decisions coincides with the committee’s annual meeting, which took place Dec. 6-8 in Houston.

“I am very happy with the reaffirmation of our accreditation by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees,” said President Peter J. Fos. “Over the past four years, the campus has developed a culture of assessment and continuous improvement of academic programs and of other areas. This is due to a great deal of work by the entire campus community. I am grateful to all who have worked so hard to achieve reaffirmation.”

The concept of quality enhancement is at the heart of the Commission on Colleges’ philosophy of accreditation. Each institution seeking reaffirmation of accreditation is required to develop a quality enhancement plan. Engaging the wider academic community and addressing one or more issues that contribute to institutional improvement, the plan should be focused, succinct and limited in length. The plan describes a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue related to enhancing student learning. UNO’s current quality enhancement plan topic is global engagement.

SACSCOC is the regional accrediting body for 11 southern states, and Latin America, that grant associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. The Commission on Colleges was founded in 1912 and was organized to develop standards and a process for accrediting colleges and universities in the South.