What is SACS and QEP?

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is the U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting body for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees. The Commission on Colleges is the representative body of the College Delegate Assembly and is charged with carrying out the accreditation process.

To gain or maintain accreditation with the Commission on Colleges, an institution must comply with the standards contained in the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement and with the policies and procedures of the Commission on Colleges. The Commission on Colleges applies the requirements of its Principles to all applicant, candidate, and member institutions, regardless of type of institution (public, private for-profit, private not-for-profit).

Each institution applying for accreditation or renewal of accreditation is required to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). Engaging the wider academic community and addressing one or more issues that contribute to institutional improvement, the plan should be focused, succinct, and limited in length. The QEP describes a carefully designed and focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue(s) related to enhancing student learning.

UofL's QEP

In 2005, UofL began to create its QEP to improve student learning. The initiative had to be practical and one with measurable success. With help from all segments of the UofL community, the QEP was titled Ideas to Action: Using Critical Thinking to Foster Student Learning and Community Engagement, also known as i2a.

At the culmination of the QEP, the Commission on Colleges sends an on-site committee of professional peers to the campus to assess the educational strengths and weaknesses of the institution. The written report of the committee helps the institution improve its programs, refine its QEP, and also provides the basis on which the Commission decides to grant, continue, reaffirm, or withdraw accreditation.

Final SACS Report Proposing Ideas to Action

This 64-page document was completed in Spring 2007 and is UofL’s proposed QEP. It includes the i2a executive summary, introduction, implementation and assessment plans.

Download Final Report [PDF]

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