WKU prepares for national reaccreditation

Jessica Voorhees

WKU is bracing for the final step in the reaccreditation process. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges committee will visit next week to evaluate the university. 

The SACSCOC is a regional accrediting party commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education that reviews colleges every 10 years to ensure they meet certain standards in areas such as academics and administration. 

Accreditation allows students at a university to receive federal financial aid and lets the school offer degree programs. 

The SACSCOC on-site committee will arrive in Bowling Green on April 5. They review WKU regional campuses Monday, April 6 and the main campus Tuesday and Wednesday, April 7 to 8. 

Provost Gordon Emslie said that on Tuesday the committee will address the principles required by the SACSCOC that the university didn’t meet. 

“We were found compliant in all but four, which is really good,” he said. “The average is like 19.”

Emslie said a committee put together a focus report that responds to the four criteria and he feels confident they will be found in compliance. 

Tuesday, the committee will also address 25 principles, such as administrators’ credentials, which the committee found to be in compliance to verify their findings. 

On Wednesday, the committee’s focus shifts to the Quality Enhancement Plan, themed “Evidence and Argument.”

Emslie said the committee will meet with Board of Regents members, faculty and students to discuss its implementation at the university.

“When the team is here they want to see the campus has been engaged in creating this and implementing it and that we’re all on board with it,” he said. 

Emslie said SACSCOC members may stop students to ask whether they are familiar with the QEP’s title and general purpose.

Faculty were asked to integrate the QEP into their classes this semester in order to familiarize students. 

“I would think just about every single class there is some element of evidence gathering and argumentation involved, no matter what the major or what the level,” Emslie said. 

Emslie said SACSCOC will announce the decision on reaccreditation in December, and he feels confident the university will do well. 

“It’s a good exercise that involved hundreds of people on various committees,” he said. “We learned a lot in creating the compliance report. Any form of self-study is a good thing.”