There is always an asterisk, isn’t there? We’ll get to that. The SACSCOC Differentiated Review Process permits qualifying institutions to reduce the number of narratives. Don’t get too excited, you don’t get to pick which ones and most of the common problem standards are on the differentiated review list. In fact, seven of the top 10 problem standards are included. However, writing to only 40 standards as opposed to the full list represents a significant reduction in time and effort.
So, who qualifies? Now we get to that pesky asterisk. Institutions that have been accredited for at least 10 years with no sanctions or monitoring reports in the past 5 years may qualify. If you have a ton of substantive changes the you are probably out of luck. If you have had several CEO changes and/or a 20% (or more) swing in enrollment (up or down) in the past five years you won’t qualify for a differentiated review. There are a few more criteria that you can check out in the Policy Statement.
This is worth a look and worth the time to ask your SACSCOC VP about. Even with the reduced work, consider bringing on a consultant to provide valuable outside perspectives and experience with a variety of strategies for making a compelling case for compliance with each of the standards.
At Southeastern Accreditation Consultants, we’re ready to collaborate and support your accreditation efforts. From reviewing narratives to building your documentation, we offer individualized services to best meet your needs. Contact us to get started.