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FGCU’s reaccredidation approved

The Cohen Center can be seen from across one of FGCU campus’ many ponds. (EN photo / Kelli Krebs)

Rest assured, FGCU has been recently found to be an exceptional school.
During its 2015 annual meeting, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools granted the reaffirmation of its accreditation to FGCU. According to its official website, SACS is the regional body in charge of accrediting degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states.
“The SACS board took action, and we were notified via telephone,” said FGCU President  Wilson Bradshaw. “I think we all have a lot to be proud of.”
This accreditation validates the quality of the institutional mission and effectiveness, as well as all programs, curriculum, finances, personnel, facilities and services the university offers.
“They deal with everything from academic integrity to financial stability,” Bradshaw said. The university’s process to renew the accreditation started in September 2012.
“The process is a very thorough one and requires the institution to do a self-study, which takes about a year,” Bradshaw said. “Then, that is submitted, and SACS sends their processes: an on-site team to take a close look at the institution across all areas.”
A reaffirmation committee made up of faculty and staff members and students was established in order to do the self-study of the university. This committee worked closely with other departments that already existed on campus, such as the Quality Enhancement Plan Development Committee, Leadership Team, Quality Enhancement Plan Selection Committee and Office of Planning and Institutional Performance.
Paul Snyder, the senior associate provost and SACSOC liaison, helped with the process as well. SACS found FGCU was in compliance with all 95 standards and requirements in the application process, and was reaffirmed for another 10 years — until 2026.
“What is really remarkable is that we met all 95 to their satisfaction and got no recommendation on any of the standards.
That’s not done routinely by any institution of higher education, so we’re very proud of that,” Bradshaw said. “My hat goes off to the faculty and staff and students who contributed to this. It’s been very gratifying.”
Although SACS had no specific feedback or recommendations for the university, Bradshaw said this does not mean FGCU has no intentions of improving.
“We always are looking for ways to improve our academic advising the success of our students in terms of retention and graduation rates and financial efficiency,” Bradshaw said.
This accreditation not only grants the university the authority to extend degrees but also makes it eligible for Federal Title 4 Student Financial Aid Programs.
“It’s really a testament to the hard work that our faculty and staff and students do day in and day out,” Bradshaw said.
“I think it speaks volumes of the quality of the educational experience here, and we look forward at being even better.”

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