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AMERICUS (Dec. 11, 2014)—Georgia Southwestern State University has earned 10-year reaffirmation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The announcement was made at the December SACS meeting earlier this week.

“Being accredited by its regional accrediting association is an absolute essential for a university,” said President Kendall Blanchard. “An institution can survive without a football program, an engineering major or even a president. However, if it fails the reaffirmation test, it will most likely have to shut its doors. Thankfully, Georgia Southwestern took the test and not only passed but did so with flying colors.”

The assessment included 15 core requirements covering all aspects of the university including institutional governance, the faculty, the curriculum, physical and financial resources and student support services. In March of 2014, a team of 10 professional educators from other states visited campus to validate the outcomes of GSW’s self-assessments and offer recommendations on the future. The whole GSW Community played a role in earning reaffirmation.

“The process that we went through involved the entire campus,” said Brian Adler, vice president for Academic Affairs, “with all faculty and staff participating in the hard work that resulted in our reaffirmation.  We developed a lot of new structures that will help us assess what we are doing with more accuracy and with a deeper understanding of how our students are learning.

“The reaffirmation review allows us to see our institution more clearly,” continued Adler, “and, if we continue to engage in the process of review over time, we should find our students are learning more in an ever increasingly efficacious manner.  That’s the nature of SACSCOC continuous improvement, and I am grateful to everyone for pulling as one to see this effort succeed.”

The SACS Visiting Committee made only five recommendations resulting from the on-site visit – one compliance recommendation and four Quality Enhancement Plan recommendations. Based on the response submitted in August by Bryan Davis, director of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, reaffirmation was granted with no requirements for further reporting.

 “As I retire and move away, it is with a great sense of satisfaction, knowing that I am leaving behind a university that is in excellent academic shape,” Blanchard added. “For that, I thank all my faculty and staff colleagues whose efforts have kept and will continue to keep Georgia Southwestern in great shape.”

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