What is SACS?

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is a private, non-profit, voluntary organization founded in 1895 in Atlanta, Georgia, for the purpose of setting standards and improving education in the colleges and schools of the South. Five other private regional accrediting associations have been established to do similar work in other regions of the United States. All of these regional accrediting associations have commissions which develop standards for and accredit postsecondary degree-granting institutions. The Association’s Commission on Colleges (COC) accredits institutions awarding associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialists, or doctoral degrees in the eleven US southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia) and in Latin America.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is, in effect, a stamp of approval indicating that Hillsborough Community College meets or exceeds the criteria established by SACS. Each member institution in the region must have its accreditation reaffirmed every ten years. Accrediting associations are not connected with local or state government or with the federal government, although government agencies do rely on the accreditation of an institution in making student loan monies and other funds available to the institution.

What does the Compliance Certification Report assess?    


The Commission on Colleges uses the Compliance Certification Report to determine whether a college is in compliance with the Principles of Accreditation, with the Core Requirements, with the Comprehensive Standards, and with additional Federal Requirements that are all set forth by the commission.

What does the Quality Enhancement Plan assess?


The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a document developed by the institution that describes a course of action for institutional improvement crucial to enhancing educational quality that is directly related to student learning. The QEP is based upon a comprehensive analysis of the effectiveness of the institution in supporting student learning and accomplishing the mission of the institution.


For a more in depth look at the reaffirmation process, please review the presentation Reaffirmation of Accreditation 101 .