Dr. John S. Hardt at USSA

Dr. John S. Hardt, seated center, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) vice president, recently met with the United States Sports Academy President’s Cabinet and faculty members on the Academy’s accreditation reaffirmation leadership team. Click image to enlarge.

The United States Sports Academy has embarked on the process of maintaining its status as America’s only freestanding accredited sports university as the institution has begun its 10-year accreditation reaffirmation.  The Academy has successfully maintained its accreditation continuously since first being accredited in 1983.

The Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  The Academy’s accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2008, and the process has begun for the next planned reaffirmation due in 2018.

The Academy recently hosted SACSCOC Vice President Dr. John S. Hardt for an advisory visit to campus to discuss the accreditation reaffirmation process, which will occur over the next 18 months.

Accreditation by SACSCOC, according to the organization, “signifies that the institution has a mission appropriate to higher education; has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission; and maintains clearly specified educational objectives that are consistent with its mission and appropriate to the degrees it offers, and that indicate whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives.”

“The United States Sports Academy continuously evaluates its academic programs and services to ensure that they are of the highest quality and that they meet the needs of students and employers in the modern world of sport,” said Academy President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. T.J. Rosandich.

“The accreditation affirmation process provides an important mechanism through which the Academy formally and thoroughly evaluates progress toward achieving its mission, and we look forward to using the process to continue to build on our tradition of academic excellence.

“The Academy is committed to accreditation and the peer review process, and is not only a member of SACSCOC, but is also a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and CHEA’s International Quality Group (CIQG), which advances understanding of international quality assurance and promotes high quality higher education in today’s competitive and international world.”

As part of the reaffirmation process, the Academy this September will submit comprehensive reports on institutional compliance toward a wide range of SACSCOC higher education Principles. These reports will be evaluated by peer reviewers for compliance. The Academy will then receive a site visit from a peer review team in March 2018. In December 2018, the SACSCOC Board of Trustees will review the Academy’s efforts toward compliance and vote on the affirmation of the Academy’s accreditation.

SACSCOC’s reaffirmation process has two major elements: compliance with the Principles and implementation of a “Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP),” a special project to provide continued enhancement to student learning.  The Academy’s upcoming QEP will focus on the use of research as a tool for student learning.

SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern United States. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among the diverse institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission.

The mission of SACSCOC is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions.  Its vision is to serve as the premier model for shaping and ensuring the quality of higher education throughout the world.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports.

The Academy is based in Daphne, Ala.  For more information, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.