Brenau clears major accreditation milestone with only one recommended improvement
A visiting team of higher education officials from several colleges and universities throughout the South reacted favorably on Brenau’s application for the 10-year reaffirmation of its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools with only a single direction for improvement in university operations.
In an informal briefing with university officials at the conclusion of a three-day visit to Brenau campuses March 15-17, the committee’s only recommendation concerned timely reporting to the accreditation board of any significant changes to university academics or operations. That charged Brenau with completing implementation of its substantive change policy, which will be considered by the Commission on Colleges board at its June meeting.
The Commission on Colleges will not take its final action of Brenau’s application for reaffirmation of its accreditation until its scheduled meeting in December.
Brenau University President Ed Schrader said university officials were extremely pleased following the committee visit. Schrader praised faculty, staff and administrators for their years of work preparing for the SACS visit, and he said that the university is already at work to address the recommendation.
“As a president or administrator of other colleges and universities that were under SACS review and as a member of teams conducting on-site reviews at other institutions, I have never seen fewer than 12 or 13 recommendations for improvements,” he said. “I thought Brenau would fare extremely well in this process, but I confess this was better than I expected. I won’t say it hasn’t happened before, but it is quite rare that an institution reaches this stage of the process with just one item on the check-list of things to fix.”
In addition to making only one recommendation for improvement, the visitors also had special praise for Brenau’s Quality Enhancement Plan, a five-year initiative to improve critical thinking skills among students at all levels of the university.
Once the committee’s formal recommendation is submitted, it will be available for review through the university and SACS.
The Commission on Colleges is responsible for making the final determination on accreditation based on the findings contained in this report, the institution’s response to issues contained in the report, other assessments relevant to the review, and application of the commission’s policies and procedures. Final interpretation of the Principles of Accreditation and on the accreditation status of the institution rest with the Commission on Colleges.
Originally published on 3/23/11