You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Atlanta organization’s approval makes or breaks colleges

Morehouse turmoil brings unwanted scrutiny


The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges can hold the power of life and death for an institution of higher learning.

Without its blessing, a school cannot receive federal student loans, grants, work-study funds, and other streams of money that help keep a college solvent, and reprimands from the powerful agency can have negative effects on students and staff.

LEARN MORE: TROUBLES AT MOREHOUSE

SACS, based in Atlanta, is one of six regional organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation that accredits schools. Accreditation means the school has been visited and reviewed by SACS members – who evaluate everything from instructional methods to accounting standards and the professionalism of the board of trustees. Its stamp of approval guarantees students, parents and the public the school is legitimate and the education offered worthwhile.

It takes accreditation to turn on the spigot of federal financial student aid, and losing it can be a death knell. Some colleges who lose their accreditation close. Others, such as Atlanta’s Morris Brown College, which lost its accreditation in 2003, struggle to maintain a pulse.

If SACS inspectors find a school out of compliance with any sets of SACS principles, it gives the school a chance to fix them or face sanctions: probation or a warning (more serious). A sanction is not only embarrassing but can have ripple effects, such as scaring away potential students or the best instructors. Failure to fix things can bring on the nuclear option: accreditation loss.

Getting a call from SACS to ask for a talk outside of a routine visit is the equivalent of being asked to go to the principal’s office. It may not mean trouble, but you won’t know until after it’s over.

SACS accredits schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Latin America.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

Students feel overburdened by rising college costs
Students feel overburdened by rising college costs

Athens resident Jessica Hembree, who wants to become a doctor, began her college career last year but she took this semester off. Why? She wanted, needed, to save money to pay the additional thousands of dollars it will cost to attend the University of Georgia this fall. Hembree, 19, is working three part-time jobs, putting in about 40 hours a week...
Statewide internet outage disrupts, delays Georgia Milestones tests
Statewide internet outage disrupts, delays Georgia Milestones tests

An internet outage today disrupted Georgia Milestones testing across the state. As a result, some districts including Gwinnett and Clayton had to delay testing and will resume their exams next week. In an email response to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution tonight, state Department of Education spokesman Matt Cardoza said, “PeachNet (state...
Surprise! Georgia State gives full scholarships to 14 Southwest DeKalb High students
Surprise! Georgia State gives full scholarships to 14 Southwest DeKalb High students

Fourteen Southwest DeKalb High School seniors walked into a room Wednesday with representatives from State Farm and Georgia State University. They had applied for full scholarships to a two-year program at the Georgia State University - Perimeter College, Decatur campus. But every student there received a scholarship to attend college...
University of North Ga. suspends cadet for taking bathroom photo
University of North Ga. suspends cadet for taking bathroom photo

The University of North Georgia decided Friday to suspend Dante Harris for the upcoming summer and fall semesters. In November, Harris photographed Major Richard Neikirk, second in command of the university’s Army ROTC program, while Neikirk was at a urinal. Neikirk had pulled his shorts down below his buttocks, which were visible in the photo...
Betsy DeVos joins chief critic on tour of public schools
Betsy DeVos joins chief critic on tour of public schools

President Donald Trump’s secretary of education has promoted school choice in many of her public statements and in visits to private and charter schools. This week, however, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos toured traditional public schools, which she has contended are failing their students. DeVos was in rural Ohio at the invitation of one...
More Stories