The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has reaffirmed accreditation of Trinity University for an additional 10 years, a successful outcome to the process of evaluation that began following the last reaffirmation process in 2008. The accreditation process will be punctuated by a mid-term review in five years.
"What wonderful news to receive as we prepare to celebrate our 150th anniversary,” says Trinity University President Danny Anderson. “This further validates what we already know about Trinity—our faculty and staff are providing an exceptional, mission-driven education."
Accreditation validates that Trinity's quality of education and facilities meets nearly 100 standards set by SACSCOC in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education, and ensures Trinity is eligible to receive federal and state funding to support student financial aid and to transfer academic credits with other institutions.
Trinity submitted documentation supporting compliance with these standards in September 2017, kicking off a three-stage review process. A critical component of Trinity's response was the new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), Starting Strong: Intentional Strategies for Improving First-Year Student Success at Trinity University. The QEP aims to improve the overall first-year experience through teaching, advising, and academic resource support specifically for first-year students.
Faculty and staff collaborated under the leadership of political science professor John Hermann to develop the QEP. Other committee members included Victoria Aarons, chair of the teaching subcommittee and O.R. Mitchell Distinguished Professor of English; Alex Gallin-Parisi, chair of the academic support resources subcommittee and Coates Library professor; Lisa Jasinski, vice-chair of the teaching subcommittee and special assistant to the vice president for Academic Affairs, and Diane Persellin, chair of the advising subcommittee and Murchison Term Professor of music.
Deneese Jones, vice president for Academic Affairs, expressed her appreciation for the team of professionals who worked diligently to achieve this result.
"Exceptional institutions like Trinity University approach accreditation as an opportunity for continuous improvement and innovation," Jones says. "The entire University was involved in achieving this result, and we appreciate the efforts of the staff and faculty who worked tirelessly to demonstrate Trinity's excellence."
Both Jones and Anderson offer their thanks to staff members Diane Saphire, who retired in June from her post as associate vice president for Institutional Research; Kathy Friedrich, director of assessment; Duane Coltharp, associate vice president for Academic Affairs-Curriculum and Faculty Development; and David Ribble, associate vice president for Academic Affairs-Budget and Research; Diana Heeren, associate vice president for finance; Jamie Thompson, director of student involvement; and Claire Smith, executive assistant to the president for all their deliberate work leading to this result.
As the major accrediting body for public and private institutions of higher education in the 11 southernmost states, SACSCOC accredits more than 780 universities and colleges in North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and in Latin America.
Trinity University has been continuously accredited by SACSCOC since 1946.