Founded in 1895, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is currently comprised of the Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (CASI) and the Commission on Colleges (COC). The Commission on Colleges was founded in 1912 and was organized to develop standards and a process for accrediting colleges and universities in the South.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) is one of six private, voluntary, nonprofit regional accrediting associations in the United States. SACSCOC approves accreditation to institutions throughout the 11 southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia) and Latin America, that grant associate, baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees.
When an institution has earned accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, it signifies that it has "a purpose appropriate to higher education and has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that purpose." In addition to ensuring that their institutions provide quality programs for students, which determining institutional eligibility for Title IV funds (student financial aid), SACSCOC also works to influence legislation and regulations that impact the work of their member institutions.
The accrediting process and all of its policies, processes, procedures, and decisions are based on the concepts of integrity, dealing openly and honestly with member institutions and ensuring an on-going program of improvement strengthening fulfillment of their stated mission.