Wake Forest is in the process of completing a reaffirmation of the University’s accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) — the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states.
Phil Handwerk, director of institutional research describes the process as an opportunity for self-examination that touches the entire University.
“The reaffirmation process allows us to look at how well we are doing at sustaining and supporting our institution and to determine what things we would like to improve to help us better meet our educational objectives and support the University’s mission,” says Handwerk.
There are nearly 100 standards in the evaluation process that measure effectiveness in areas from governance and administration to student services to facilities. Handwerk and his team coordinate the nearly 400 narratives being written across the University related to these standards and the application for reaffirmation of accreditation.
Reaffirmation of accreditation occurs every ten years. In the Class of 2016, 40 four-year institutions are going through the reaffirmation process.
Below is an overview of the process.
- June 2015: SACSCOC representatives visit campus to provide assistance and support as the University’s self-evaluation continues this summer.
- September 2015: Wake Forest’s evaluation report is due to SACSCOC
- November 2015: SACSCOC conducts an off-site, standard-by-standard review of the report.
- December 2015: Wake Forest receives feedback from SACSCOC review.
- February 2016: Responses to the focused report and a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) are due to SACSCOC.
- March 28-29: SACSCOC visits the University for an on-site review.
- September 2016: Wake Forest’s response to the on-site review is due.
- December 2016: Final review by SACSCOC board of trustees
Handwerk joined Wake Forest in August 2013. He has extensive institutional-research experience in a variety of private and nonprofit organizations.