Wayland reaffirmed for accreditation by SACS

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University has been reaffirmed for full accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools after a year-long process, SACS announced today at its annual meeting in San Antonio.

The announcement comes during the university’s centennial celebration year, with the reaffirmation taking place every 10 years for schools that are SACS members.

“Wayland is very pleased by the action of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in their annual meeting. The endorsement of our university program by our regional accreditation agency and its peer review process is the highest and most significant academic and professional authentication a university can earn,” said Dr. Paul Armes, who attended the meeting with others from WBU. “Dr. Elane Seebo, Dr. Bobby Hall and Ms. Penny Poole, along with many other faculty and staff members, have done excellent work during this reaffirmation process. Wayland is grateful for the hard work of all its staff involved in this important journey.”

Seebo is associate vice president under Hall, who serves as executive vice president and provost. Poole is Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, the office largely responsible for gathering and monitoring reports required by SACS for accreditation purposes. All work closely with the accrediting agency on a regular basis.

The reaffirmation process is lengthy, beginning for Wayland with a hefty compliance certification report submitted in September 2007, which was first reviewed by an off-site committee. A focused report from Wayland addressed any preliminary concerns identified by the off-site committee, then an on-site review team visited five Wayland campuses in February 2008 for interviews with administrators and further research. After another report and responses from both the university and the SACS committees, the final ruling is handed down.

 The SACS Principles for Accreditation include more than 75 core requirements and comprehensive standards with which the university must comply for reaffirmation, according to Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Bobby Hall. The university’s Quality Enhancement Plan – a program SACS requires to address key student outcomes issues – was judged to be acceptable with no recommendations at all, something Hall called very rare. Wayland’s QEP focuses on the improvement of student writing skills.

“Wayland had a very good reaffirmation visit,” said Hall, who oversees the accreditation process at Wayland in his position. “The SACS reaffirmation process closely examines every component of the university on all campuses and requires the involvement of many of the university’s staff, faculty, and students to ensure a successful review. Those individuals deserve a great deal of credit for making this a success.”

Wayland has 14 campuses including the home campus in Plainview and campuses in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska; Phoenix and Sierra Vista, Ariz.; Aiea, Hawaii; Albuquerque and Clovis, N.M.; Altus, Okla.; Amarillo, Lubbock, San Antonio and Wichita Falls, Texas; and the Virtual Campus online. Overall system enrollment topped 6,000 for the fall term.