SARASOTA, Fla. (Jan. 3, 2017) The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s accreditation was continued for 10 years by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) at its annual meeting in Atlanta on Dec. 6.
“Reaffirmation of our accreditation is a nice holiday gift to our university,” Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone said after learning of the accreditation last month. “It confirms the strides that our campus and our programs have made since our initial accreditation was granted five years ago.”
SACSCOC is the private, non-governmental organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the body that accredits educational institutions in the southern states of the United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia).
The USF System’s three campuses – USF in Tampa, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee – are separately accredited academic institutions. USF Sarasota-Manatee first gained SACSCOC accreditation in 2011. Prior to that, the campus was accredited through its affiliation with USF in Tampa.
The reaffirmation of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s accreditation is important to assure graduates of the academic credibility and value of their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. This accreditation is required by the U.S. Department of Education for USFSM to disburse Pell grants and other federal financial aid, such as student loans. SACSCOC accreditation is also required to maintain USF Sarasota-Manatee’s specialized national accreditation for education programs, such as elementary education, and international accreditation for business programs, including the MBA and accounting.
Institutions seeking accreditation undergo an intensive self-review process in which they assess how well they are meeting nearly 100 standards regarding their educational missions, goals and expected outcomes, and making improvements as needed, as outlined by The Principles of Accreditation. USF Sarasota-Manatee was visited and evaluated by a committee of 10 experts from outside Florida. SACSCOC’s notification that no follow-up reporting is required for this accreditation cycle demonstrates USF Sarasota-Manatee’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of teaching, research and service. Earning separate accreditation shows the strength of its students, faculty and staff.
USF Sarasota-Manatee opened in the 1974-75 academic year, providing courses for upper-level undergraduates, graduates and continuing education students. USF Sarasota-Manatee welcomed its first freshman class in 2013. Today, the campus serves more than 2,000 students annually at its main campus on the border of Manatee and Sarasota counties, at its instructional labs at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and at its Culinary Innovation Lab in Lakewood Ranch.
To learn more about USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit usfsm.edu.