SACSCOC stands for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which is the accrediting body for educational institutions within Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Latin America. The Commission on Colleges is the division of SACSCOC that oversees accreditation of higher education within the region. (For more information, visit

Dr. Belle Wheelan, President of the Commission on Colleges, offers an alternate meaning for the SACS acronym that conveys the essence of higher education: Students Are Central to Success.

Accreditation by the SACSCOC means that a university has:

  1. A mission appropriate to higher education.
  2. The resources, programs and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission.
  3. Clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers.
  4. Success in achieving its stated objectives.

According to the Commission on Colleges, "the culmination of the accreditation process is a public statement of an institution’s continuing capacity to provide effective programs and services based on agreed-upon requirements. The statement of an institution’s accreditation status with SACSCOC also represents an affirmation of an institution’s continuing commitment to the Commission’s principles and philosophy of accreditation." (See the Principles of Accreditation: Foundation for Quality Enhancement).

Being accredited and in good standing with SACSCOC assures our constituents and the public of the quality and integrity of B-CU and its programs. It also allows B-CU students to maintain eligibility for federal financial aid and ensures transfer of credits between B-CU and other institutions.

Every ten years, colleges and university accredited by SACSCOC must demonstrate that they comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundation for Quality Enhancement and with the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges. This process is called reaffirmation of accreditation. It is a two-year process of rigorous self-evaluation that culminates in two stages of peer review conducted by senior level faculty and administrators at other institutions accredited by SACSCOC.

B-CU is beginning the current reaffirmation process leading up to submission of our Compliance Certification Report in September 2021 and our Quality Enhancement Plan in early 2022. A team of peer evaluators will visit our campus in spring 2022 and the Commission votes on whether to reaffirm B-CU’s accreditation in December 2022.

Anything less than full reaffirmation potentially means:

  • loss of federal funding
  • loss of prestige and reputation
  • loss of admissions applicants
  • loss of ability of B-CU graduates to secure jobs

If the peer evaluators working on behalf of the Commission on Colleges find that B-CU is deficient in some area, they can offer recommendations with penalties that range from requiring Monitoring Reports to public sanction, denial of reaffirmation and even removal of membership. While B-CU does not anticipate major problems with reaffirmation, it is important for everyone to understand how serious the consequences are - and just how important the process is.

In fall 2020, we will conclude a compliance audit, which involves reviewing institutional policy documents and gathering and analyzing data related to each of the standards in the 2018 Principles of Accreditation. The Compliance Certification Committee and the Leadership Team will address any issues that need attention. During spring 2021, we will write the Compliance Certification Report, select a QEP topic/concept and develop the QEP. In September 2021, we will submit the final Compliance Certification Report, continue to prepare the final QEP, and prepare a Focused Report if needed. In spring 2022, we will have an on-site visit of peer evaluators. A more detailed timeline is available on this site, and there will be updates as we progress.

The Compliance Certification Report includes an institutional summary to introduce the peer evaluators to Bethune-Cookman University and narratives for each of the standards in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundation for Quality Enhancement.

Each section will include:

  1. The wording of the standard.
  2. Our determination of the level of compliance (compliance, partial compliance, non-compliance).
  3. A clear, succinct narrative that presents a convincing justification of compliance based on analysis and appropriate links to reliable, current, verifiable, coherent, objective, relative and representative evidence.
  4. A list of all supporting evidence documentation referenced in the narrative.
You can help by responding to requests for documentation, providing input about the QEP, acknowledging and supporting the work of the reaffirmation teams and committees, staying informed through this website, and asking questions about anything you don't understand. Our success depends on collective dedication to this important endeavor.
For general OR questions about Compliance Certification, contact Dr. Narendra Patel,, Ext. 2072.