Kennesaw State University is currently in the process of reaffirming their accreditation with The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Kennesaw State reaffirmed their accreditation last in December of 2007, so now as a part of the reaffirmation process; they are required to submit the Fifth-Year Mid-Term Compliance Report. Since then, the requirements for accreditation have significantly risen so KSU is working hard on improving their documentation in order to retain their accreditation.
An institution that has been accredited by this organization has demonstrated that they support higher education and that the programs and services they offer support this purpose as well Work on the report is led by KSU’s Office of Institutional Accreditation; headed by Dr. Leigh Funk and Ms. Susan Paraska.
“At KSU, we are dedicated to the pursuit of quality and to becoming an engaged and nationally recognized institution,” said Funk.
“If done well, the requirements of accreditation should be woven into our policies, procedures and practices as part of our normal course of business. The goal isn’t to scurry around frantically preparing for an accreditation review and then ‘go back to normal’ as soon as the review is over,” said Funk. “The goal is to go about our business of being a quality institution and then collect evidence of the great things we have done that demonstrate we are and have in compliance with the accreditation standards all along.”
In reference to The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, a nationally recognized source on accreditation, being an accredited school benefits not only the institution but the students as well. When students enter the professional field, the fact that they attended an accredited school could reassure future employers that they have been appropriately prepared.
“The darker reality of not maintaining accreditation is that if we don’t maintain our accreditation status, we can no longer receive federal or state financial aid,” said Funk. “Since approximately 80% of our students receive some sort of financial aid, loss of accreditation would mean the loss of a significant number of students, loss of faculty, loss of staff and the loss of our institution as we know it.”
According to Funk “preparation of our Fifth-Year Interim report is going well. We have received highly positive comments from our external reviews as well as some useful suggestions for how we might improve our report before submitting the final report.”
Over the next two months KSU’s Office of Institutional Accreditation will be working on improving and finalizing this report, which will be due on March 25 of this year. After it has been turned in, KSU will be informed on the status of the accreditation by mid to late July.