Lander University received good news recently when it was notified that it met the core requirements, comprehensive standards and federal requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), as documented in its fifth-year interim accreditation report.
Dr. David Mash, Lander’s provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, characterized the report as “a clean bill of health” as the university prepares for its upcoming comprehensive 10-year review due in 2016.
The mission of SACSCOC is to “assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions.”
Mash said the five-year report addresses more than a dozen standards such as institutional mission and effectiveness, academic programs, faculty, financial and physical resources, and more.
Tom Nelson, assistant vice president of Academic Affairs and director of
Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness, is the coordinator of Lander’s compliance steering committee. He said SACSCOC “sets the bar high” for all institutions. He added that Lander’s rigorous compliance review, including documentation that the university is meeting or exceeding accreditation standards, is an ongoing process.
In describing the critical nature of accreditation, Mash said, without it Lander students would be unable to transfer Lander credits to other colleges; they would be unable to use their undergraduate degrees as the foundation for graduate school, and they could not apply federal financial aid they receive to Lander’s tuition. That alone, he added, would be devastating to Lander since 90 percent of students enrolled at the university receive financial assistance.
Mash places a high value on the accreditation review because it assures that Lander and other institutions of higher education are following policies and standards ensuring the quality of the education they provide. He also pointed out that the number one SACSCOC compliance standard is a requirement that the institution “operates with integrity in all matters.”
In reacting to the interim accreditation report, Lander President Daniel Ball said, “The leadership of David Mash and Tom Nelson, along with the hard work of many, many faculty and staff, have ensured Lander’s stellar standing with SACS. I am personally proud to be a part of Lander University.”