Coastal Carolina University has been reaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) following an intense, year-long self-study and peer review process.
Reaffirmation of accreditation involves a peer review process by SACS's Commission on Colleges, the regional accrediting agency for 11 Southeastern states. As part of the peer review process, faculty and administration from SACS member institutions visit the campus and evaluate the university under review. The peer review team makes recommendations based on the campus visit and SACS's Commission on Colleges makes its final decision at its December meeting.
A peer review team visited the Coastal campus for three days in February 2001 as part of the initial self-study process. In its exit review, the team presented Coastal with an outstanding report that included only four recommendations, among the fewest ever given by a SACS reaffirmation committee, according to Coastal President Ronald R. Ingle. The recommendations focused on Coastal's need for additional and improved physical facilities, including library, science and student services facilities.
Coastal also received two commendations, both citing broad institutional characteristics. The first commendation cited Coastal's dedication to the SACS peer review process and to its commitment to participating in the activities and decisions of SACS's Commission on Colleges. The second commendation noted the excellence of Coastal's ongoing and broad-based program of planning, assessment and institutional effectiveness.
"Receiving one commendation is relatively rare in a SACS review, and receiving two is a significant acknowledgment of the quality and progress Coastal has achieved," said Ingle.
Sally M. Horner, Coastal's executive vice president, was chair of the steering committee for the self-study process. Colleen Lohr, associate professor of biology at Coastal, was director of the campus self-study process. Horner and Lohr were the general editors of the comprehensive report required by SACS as part of the review.
All SACS-accredited institutions must be reviewed every 10 years in order to be reaffirmed for accreditation.