Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness

SACSCOC Process

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) last reaffirmed Mississippi State University's accreditation in 2003 and is scheduled for reaffirmation in 2014. In 2004, SACSOC has adopted new accreditation standards that have changed the process of accreditation. Institutions no longer complete intensive self-studies, rather they must provide evidence of continuous improvement through assessment and research-based planning. The major changes in the process are listed below.

Previous Reaffirmation Current Reaffirmation
Self-study report (intensive writing) with extensive on-campus committee structure Compliance Certification Document (succinct and technical) reviewed by a small compliance team
400+ prescriptive "must" statements 16 Core Requirements
64 Comprehensive Standards
11 Federal Requirements
Interview-based review with on-site visiting committing of 15-20 members Evidence-based review with 2 review committees (off-site and on-site)
  Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)
10-year review cycle with several follow-up reports allowed 10-year review cycle
5-year interim review
QEP impact report
Limited follow-ups
Deficiencies in self-study did not affect reaffirmation Deficiencies in compliance certification or QEP affect reaffirmation

Compliance Certification Document

Mississippi State University will submit its next Compliance Certification Document in September 2013. The Compliance Certification process provides evidence of continuous improvement through assessment and research-based planning. Mississippi State University must demonstrate compliance with the SACSCOC Accrediting Standards through Core Requirements, Comprehensive Standards, and Federal Requirements. Mississippi State University will certify its status on each item and provide appropriate documentation to justify the selected status as follows:

  • In-Compliance
  • In-Partial-Compliance
  • Out-of-Compliance

Documentation/justification

The Compliance Certification will be submitted to the Commission in both electronic and limited hardcopy formats. As the Compliance Certification is developed, updates of the document will be posted on this website. Much of the information will be available to the general public while other elements will be posted on a secure section of the website for use by SACSCOC.

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) replaces the traditional Self-Study used for past reaffirmations. The QEP is a 5-year plan that "describes a carefully designed course of action that addresses a well-defined and focused topic or issue related to enhancing student learning" (Quality Enhancement Plan Handbook, 2008). It is intended to be an outgrowth of the institution's ongoing planning and evaluation process related to its institutional mission. The QEP supplements the institution's ongoing, institution-wide planning and evaluation processes and allows the institution to transform a vision for enhancing student learning into reality.

At the end of the 5-year process, the institution will submit a QEP Impact Report with its Fifth-Year Interim Report. This Impact Report must provide evidence of how the QEP influenced student learning.

Fifth-Year Interim Report

The Fifth‐Year Interim Report was developed to respond to the U.S. Department of Education's requirements (1) that accrediting bodies continuously monitor institutions to ensure compliance and (2) that accrediting bodies have a mechanism for reviewing multiple sites initiated since last reaffirmation. Mississippi State University completed its first Fifth-Year Interim Report in 2008.

In subsequent years, Mississippi State University will also include its QEP Impact Report with its Fifth-Year Interim Report. The next Fifth-Year Interim Report is scheduled for 2018.

Contact Information

269-A Allen Hall
Mailstop: 9712

Phone: 662.325.3920
Fax: 662.325.3514
oir@ir.msstate.edu