Volume 2 | Issue 1 | October 2022

Your Roadmap to Successfully Navigating SACSCOC Reaffirmation of Accreditation
As part of our university-wide process to prepare for reaffirmation of accreditation with SACSCOC, we will share our milestones and next steps through this newsletter. The current edition provides a snapshot of where we are in the reaffirmation process, including details of our last Compliance Certification team meeting, a note from our Faculty Fellow, and a spotlight on the Office of the Registrar.

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To engage. To assess. To shine. To achieve Reaffirmation of Accreditation.
SACSCOC Reaffirmation of Accreditation
2022-2023 Accreditation Season Preview

It’s fall again and for many of us Georgia Southern football is on our minds. But, as we shout GATA, remember we are on a mission not only to win conference championships but also to win reaffirmation of accreditation. So, this fall, let’s also think GATA - Get After That Accreditation!

On August 30, 2022, Compliance Certification teams came together for the first all-team meeting of the 2022-2023 academic year to tackle Phase 3. To rally the teams for Phase 3 action, Dr. Delena Bell Gatch, Associate Vice President for Institutional Assessment and Accreditation (IAA), reminded teams that Compliance Certification narratives need to use the evidence collected to tell a story about how Georgia Southern University fulfills the high expectations set in SACSCOC standards.

Serena Murphy, IAA Accreditation Coordinator, and Barbara King, IAA Faculty Fellow, shared a Compliance Certification Writing Guide, and reviewed a playbook of important considerations when crafting a narrative. Teams had the opportunity to review plays (read narratives) from another SACSCOC institution in preparation for writing their own narratives. To scrimmage as a SACSCOC reviewer, teams applied the Analyzing a Case for Compliance rubric to the other institution’s narratives to see if team judgments matched up with SACSCOC’s judgments of compliance. During the post-game show, it was revealed that in this case issues of compliance were not about whether they had a quality team, but rather that the illustrations on the whiteboard were lacking. In other words, the problem was not with what the university was or was not doing; it was with how their activities were conveyed to SACSCOC reviewers. 

Next, IAA introduced the game plan for the internal review, which divides the internal review process into three segments, Build & Compose, Analyze & Resolve, and Revise & Rewrite. These segments include the initial drafting of narratives, internal feedback process, and revision of narratives for the external review. Each internal review segment spans a three-month period. To make the internal review process more manageable, the submission of narratives will occur in staggered batches. 

To support the writing and reviewing of narratives, IAA has scheduled retreats for writers and reviewers to work in a designated space where IAA will be available to assist and answer questions. To close the meeting, Dr. Marrero delivered inspirational words to officially kick-off the new accreditation season. 

Status Update: We are in Phase 3
Compliance Certification teams have identified their evidence and are drafting their narratives.
Phase 3 Segments & Batches:
Draft Submission & Internal Review
Lead writer(s) build and compose Compliance Certification narratives for assigned standards.
Lead reviewer(s) analyze Compliance Certification narratives and resolve identified issues.
Team members revise and rewrite Compliance Certification narratives in preparation for our external review.
A Word from the Faculty Fellow

Believe it or not, a year has passed since kicking off Georgia Southern’s Reaffirmation of Accreditation. So much has already been accomplished, and Phase 3 is in full swing. As part of the internal audit in Spring 2022, the Faculty team determined curriculum processes needed to be better communicated to the campus community, especially to faculty involved in the process. 

Based on the recommendations of team members and coinciding with the release of a new curriculum management system, IAA and the Office of the Registrar collaborated to create
curriculum proposal forms, improve the workflow, and produce extensive training materials to support those involved in the curriculum process. The result of this collaboration are web pages dedicated to curriculum review and approval, located on the IAA website and linked on the Registrar’s website. Faculty can now go to the IAA website for all their curriculum needs.

On the IAA website, faculty will find a flowchart illustrating the curriculum origination and approval process at Georgia Southern as well as when external notifications and/or approvals by external entities such as SACSCOC are required. Most “stops” on the flowchart have corresponding training materials. For example, to assist faculty originating curriculum proposals, corresponding guides are available that explain each question and provide resource links when applicable. Handbooks were created for university level curriculum committees: Undergraduate, Graduate, and General Education and Core Curriculum Committees. These handbooks address faculty roles in the curriculum review and approval process, degree and program requirements, information on Curriculog, and relevant SACSCOC standards related to curriculum. Checklists for each stage of the approval process also are available to guide faculty at the departmental, college, and institutional levels as they review curriculum items. These lists are especially important for providing faculty with a more in-depth understanding of their role, a necessity for maximizing faculty governance of the curriculum process. We are excited for the campus community to check out these resources and gain a better understanding of the curriculum process. Knowledge is power!

Until Next Time,

Barbara King
IAA Faculty Fellow
Did You Know?
Having trouble keeping up with all this accreditation stuff?

IAA now has a special page devoted to our 2025 SACSCOC Reaffirmation of Accreditation process, featuring our phases, timelines, team membership, and resources! Check it out! You can also find an archive of all of our accreditation newsletters on the website.
Section 10:
Educational Policies, Procedures, and Practices
10.4 The institution
(a) publishes and implements policies on the authority of faculty in academic governance matters,
(b) demonstrates that educational programs for which academic credit is awarded are approved consistent with institutional policy, and
(c) places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum with its faculty.
Essential Components for Compliance:
  • publishes polices on faculty authority for academic governance
  • implements polices on faculty authority for academic governance
  • demonstrates credit-earning educational programs are approved consistent with institutional policy
  • faculty have primary responsibility for curriculum content
  • faculty have primary responsibility for curriculum quality
  • faculty have primary responsibility for curriculum effectiveness
Excellence in Faculty Governance:
The Important Role of the Registrar's Office
Standard 10.4 is a standard that truly highlights collaboration across the institution. Although the focal point is faculty governance in matters of curriculum, what might be overlooked are other units that facilitate this governance and help maximize faculty voices. As SACSCOC is always challenging institutions to improve, the launching of a new curriculum management system presented an opportunity to strengthen faculty voices and refine our curriculum process at Georgia Southern.  

Beginning in late spring, the Office of the Registrar and Institutional Assessment and Accreditation (IAA) collaborated on creating proposal forms for the new curriculum management system, Curriculog. The Office of the Registrar solicited ideas from those involved in the curriculum process to ensure questions better reflect the policy processes related to the initiation and approval of curriculum items. From these discussions, a flowchart was created to illustrate the steps in the University’s internal and external approval process (e.g. University System of Georgia and SACSCOC). To promote uniformity in the presentation of catalog information, the Registrar created program templates to assist faculty submitting program proposals.

The Registrar also created short Curriculog training videos to assist faculty in the preparation and launching of curriculum proposals through the new system. In addition to permanent training materials located on the Registrar’s website, the office also collaborated with IAA to deliver live training to faculty, deans, and chairs involved in the origination of curriculum proposals as well as university curriculum committees who play a significant role in the review and approval of these proposals. 

Throughout this process, the Office of the Registrar, a unit instrumental to the curriculum process, has listened to faculty and collaborated with campus partners. Their efforts have facilitated understanding, improved transparency, and streamlined the curriculum process at Georgia Southern University, thus providing critical support for faculty governance.
Upcoming Events


Statesboro Campus
Tuesday, October 18th
9 am - 12 pm & 1 pm - 4 pm

Armstrong Campus
Wednesday, October 19th
9 am - 12 pm & 1 pm - 4 pm

 December 3rd - 6th, 2022
Atlanta, GA
And our October newsletter winner is...
Marina Shade
(Enrollment Services, Military & Veteran Services)
Email assessment@georgiasouthern.edu within 30 days to claim your prize.
SACSCOC Accreditation Resources
As we work together to prepare for our Compliance Certification and on-site review, keep in mind the resources provided by SACSCOC:

In addition to providing all the standards and sub-standards for accreditation, this document provides an overview of the philosophy, purpose, and process of accreditation.

Resource Manual for The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement This document provides additional guidance regarding requirements and recommendations for each standard and includes a list of guiding questions and possible evidence that could be used to support compliance in the Compliance Certification narrative.
Institutional Assessment and Accreditation (IAA) works collaboratively with faculty, staff, and administration to ensure the quality of the programs and educational experiences offered by the university, addressing the unique assessment needs of courses, departments, colleges, or units through individual and group consultations, professional development workshops, recommendations for technology implementation, and best practice reference materials.