Institutional Accreditation–SACSCOC

Sacscoc Stamp ColorThe University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org)

SACSCOC accreditation is institutional in nature. Although many programs are accredited by other agencies, SACSCOC accredits the whole institution, not specific degrees or programs.

The UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth is approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and is a member of the Alliance for Higher Education, the Association of Academic Health Centers, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Council of Graduate Schools.

For further information regarding the institution’s accreditation and state approval or to review related documents, contact the Provost’s Office, Carl E. Everett Education and Administration Building, Room 854, 817-735-0268.

What is Reaffirmation of Accreditation?

Reaffirmation of Accreditation is a process that involves a collective analysis and judgment by the institution’s internal constituencies, an informed review by peers external to the institution, and a reasoned decision by the elected members of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees, reaffirmation of accreditation is the process for ensuring that member institutions maintain continuing compliance with Commission policies and with the Principles of Accreditation. An institution must be reaffirmed every 10 years.

SACSCOC Liaison

The Institutional Accreditation Liaison (IAL) is responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring that compliance with accreditation requirements is incorporated into the planning and evaluation process of the institution.
  • Notifying the Commission in advance of substantive changes and program developments in accord with the substantive change policies of the Commission.
  • Familiarizing faculty, staff, and students with the Commission's accrediting policies and procedures, and with particular sections of the accrediting standards and Commission policies that have an application to certain aspects of the campus (e.g., library, continuing education) especially when such documents are adopted or revised.
  • Serving as a contact person for Commission staff. This includes encouraging institutional staff to route routine inquiries about the Principles of Accreditation and accreditation policies and processes through the Accreditation Liaison, who will contact Commission staff, if necessary , and ensuring that email from the Commission office does not get trapped in the institution’s spam filter.
  • Coordinating the preparation of the annual profiles and any other reports requested by the Commission.
  • Serving as a resource person during the decennial review process and helping prepare for and coordinating reaffirmation and other accrediting visits.
  • Ensuring that electronic institutional data collected by the Commission is accurate and timely.
  • Maintaining a file of all accreditation materials, such as, reports related to the decennial review; accreditation committee reports; accreditation manuals, standards, and policies; schedules of all visits; and correspondence from accrediting offices.
    Disclaimer:  Please do not contact SACSCOC directly. Direct any inquiries to our institution’s SACSCOC Accreditation Liaison and Assistant Vice Provost, University Assessment and Accreditation, Dr. Robert Haight (robert.haight@unthsc.edu).

SACSCOC Substantive Changes

The Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) substantive change policy and procedures assure the public that all aspects of an institution continue to meet standards. It helps ensure substantive changes, if approved, do not hinder an institution’s ability to continue meeting the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation. A substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Substantive change includes high-impact, high-risk changes and changes that can impact the quality of educational programs and services. SACSCOC accredits an entire institution. Accreditation extends to all programs and services of an institution wherever located and however delivered. SACSCOC does not accredit individual programs, locations, or portions of an institution. However, some new programs, locations, and other institutional changes are subject to notification and/or approval as defined in Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.  

Types of SACSCOC Substantive changes, include but are not limited to, the following: 

Substantially changing the established mission or objectives of an institution or its programs. 

  •  Changing the legal status, form of control, or ownership of an institution. 
  •  Changing the governance of an institution. 
  •  Merging / consolidating two or more institutions or entities. 
  •  Acquiring another institution or any program or location of another institution 
  •  Relocating an institution or an off-campus instructional site of an institution (including a branch campus).  
  •  Offering courses or programs at a higher or lower degree level than currently authorized. 
  •  Adding graduate programs at an institution previously offering only undergraduate programs (including degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other for-credit credential). 
  •  Changing the way an institution measures student progress, whether in clock hours or credit-hours; semesters, trimesters, or quarters; or time-based or non–time-based methods or measures 
  •  Adding a program that is a significant departure from the existing programs, or method of delivery, from those offered when the institution was last evaluated 
  •  Initiating programs by distance education or correspondence courses.. 
  •  Adding an additional method of delivery to a currently offered program.  
 
  • Entering a cooperative academic arrangement.  
  • Entering a written arrangement under 34 C.F.R. § 668.5 under which an institution or organization not certified to participate in the title IV Higher Education Act (HEA) programs offers less than 25% (notification) or 25-50% (approval) of one or more of the accredited institution's educational programs. An agreement offering more than 50% of one or more of an institution’s programs is prohibited by federal regulation. 
  •  Substantially increase or decreasing the number of clock hours or credit hours awarded or competencies demonstrated, or an increase in the level of credential awarded, for successful completion of one or more programs.
  • Adding competency-based education programs.  
  • Adding each competency-based education program by direct assessment.  
  • Adding programs with completion pathways that recognize and accommodate a student’s prior or existing knowledge or competency.  
  • Awarding dual or joint academic awards. 
  • Re-opening a previously closed program or off-campus instructional site.  
  • Adding a new off-campus instructional site/additional location including a branch campus. 
  •  Adding a permanent location at a site at which an institution is conducting a teach-out program for students of another institution that has ceased operating before all students have completed their program of study.  
  • Closing an institution, a program, a method of delivery, an off-campus instructional site, or a program at an off-campus instructional site.  

 

 

SACSCOC Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) – is an integral component of the reaffirmation of accreditation process and is derived from an institution’s ongoing comprehensive planning and evaluation processes. It reflects and affirms a commitment to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue that the institution considers important to improving student learning outcomes and/or student success. The document submitted by the institution demonstrates that its QEP (a) has a topic identified through its ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation processes; (b) has broad-based support of institutional constituencies; (c) focuses on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success; (d) commits resources to initiate, implement and complete the QEP; and (e) includes a plan to assess achievement. The On-Site Reaffirmation Committee reviews the document and conducts interviews to determine whether the institution has demonstrated compliance with Standard 7.2.

To learn more about HSC QEP, please visit https://www.unthsc.edu/students/wellbeing-qep

SACSCOC Reports/Letters

Accreditation Management System