SACS Reaffirms University’s Accreditation
Posted: January 30, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has unconditionally reaffirmed George Mason’s accreditation. This culminates the university’s two-year process of self-study and dialogue with SACS. It signifies that Mason has a purpose appropriate to higher education and has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish that purpose on a continuing basis. Accreditation is required in order to receive federal student financial aid and federal research grants, and for continued recognition of the university’s credits and degrees by other accredited institutions.
The process of reaffirmation of accreditation touched virtually everyone in the Mason community. Students, staff, faculty, and friends of the university served on the committees that conducted the self-study and participated in numerous surveys and focus groups to help us better understand how well George Mason serves its constituencies. Academic and administrative units assembled the evidence required to demonstrate compliance with SACS’ standards.
Throughout, the participants strived to ensure that the massive effort served the university’s interests as well as SACS’ requirements. Many of the recommendations made by the self-study committees to improve George Mason in the areas of learning, research, community, and technology were implemented. Among these are the establishment of the Center for Teaching Excellence, a research program for undergraduates, study leave for tenure-track faculty, a committee dedicated to encourage traditions within the university, closer relationships between alumni and continuing professional education, and space on campus available to students on a 24/7 basis.
“Accreditation has intrinsic value, but the university should be especially proud that it took advantage of this period of introspection to bring about positive change,” says Linda Schwartzstein, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and director of the self-study.