BJU Granted Regional Accreditation
Today, June 15, BJU was granted regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
“Being granted regional accreditation is one of the biggest milestones in Bob Jones University’s 90-year history,” says BJU President Steve Pettit. “We set out to obtain regional accreditation and strengthen our mission and, by God’s grace, we’ve accomplished both objectives.”
Regional accreditation benefits students in specific ways. It makes it easier to transfer credits and be admitted to more graduate schools. It will show prospective employers a BJU education meets high standards and equips our graduates with skills needed in today’s world, and it could help graduates entering a profession where a regionally accredited degree is required for licensure or employment.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia), Latin America and other international sites approved by SACSCOC that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees.
The BJU Board of Trustees voted unanimously on December 2, 2011, to pursue regional accreditation. The application was delivered to SACSCOC on October 2, 2014. A SACSCOC candidacy committee visited the BJU campus in January 2016, and SACSCOC granted BJU candidacy status on June 16, 2016. BJU delivered a second round of compliance documentation to SACSCOC in the fall of 2016, and the SACSCOC accreditation committee assessed BJU’s compliance to accreditation standards during a campus visit in November 2016. This committee submitted a recommendation regarding BJU’s accreditation to the SACSCOC Board of Trustees which granted BJU SACSCOC membership in June 2017.
Accreditation signifies that a university has (1) a mission appropriate to higher education, (2) resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, (3) clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and (4) success in achieving its stated objectives.
Both SACSCOC and TRACS (Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools) grant institutional accreditation and are approved by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Regional accreditation through SACSCOC is more widely recognized by some graduate schools and companies and government agencies that may require a regionally accredited degree for employment and/or licensure.
Yes. After a thorough review, both the Board of Trustees and the executive leadership of the University determined regional accreditation could enhance the delivery of our mission. As evidenced by the experiences of other colleges of like faith and practice, we believe that with regional accreditation we can both deliver our faith-based mission with integrity and increase the quality of our total educational experience through regional accreditation.
Regional accreditation acknowledges an institution’s prerogative to accomplish its mission, including a religious mission. Chapel and intentional discipleship initiatives will continue. BJU will not be required to modify policies including those related to lifestyle or hiring policies or our biblical worldview which we infuse into everything we do here at BJU.
Yes. Both organizations help us in our aim to strengthen the delivery of our mission. Both also help us enhance educational quality and student learning as well as infuse a biblical worldview into all we do here.
BJU’s engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The teacher preparation program holds state accreditation and the nursing program has full approval of the South Carolina Board of Nursing.
Regional accreditation assures students they are receiving a high quality education here at BJU. It shows BJU faculty, academic programs, student services, finances and facilities have been evaluated by representatives from other colleges and universities who determined they meet the high quality accreditation standards. Regional accreditation also provides students three specific benefits. First, it makes it easier for students to transfer credits and be admitted to more graduate schools. Second, it can help graduates enter a profession where a regionally accredited degree is required for licensure or securing employment, and, third, it shows prospective employers a BJU education meets high quality standards and equips our graduates with skills needed in today’s world.
BJU’s regional accreditation is retroactive to January 2017.
Throughout its 90-year history, BJU has practiced the kind of continual improvement that characterizes accredited institutions. For the sake of its students and alumni, BJU believes the time had come for it to seek regional accreditation as well. Recognition of the quality of its programs and degrees through regional accreditation should afford its graduates easier access into graduate schools of their choice. In addition, regional accreditation should enable our graduates to more successfully gain employment in careers where licensure or state laws apply. Moreover, the accountability that regional accreditation affords will give parents of prospective students added confidence in the education that BJU offers their students. Finally, BJU sought regional accreditation in order to be recognized as a partner in the higher education community. BJU desires others in that community to recognize the quality of its curriculum and faculty.
BJU will undergo review for reaffirmation of regional accreditation in five years (2022) and every ten years thereafter.
Some of the information was quoted or paraphrased from the SACSCOC website and the 2012 edition of The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement published by SACSCOC.
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