InsideODU: News for Faculty and Staff
Thursday, December 13, 2012

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University Receives Reaffirmation of Accreditation

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) announced the reaffirmation of accreditation until 2022 for Old Dominion University at its annual meeting this week in Dallas. The university was found to be in compliance with all of SACSCOC's 80-plus standards, and its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), "Improving Disciplinary Writing," was approved for implementation.

"Accreditation signifies Old Dominion University's success in meeting its academic mission and achieving its objectives and goals," said President John R. Broderick. "While we at Old Dominion know what a unique and outstanding institution this is, it is incredibly gratifying to have the public acknowledgement of a prestigious group like SACSCOC affirm it."

The university's reaffirmation process began with a self-study in 2010 to evaluate its compliance with the standards for accreditation, followed by the submission of its Compliance Certification Report in fall 2011. Last spring, an on-site committee of two dozen peer experts visited the campus for the final phase of the evaluation process.

The in-depth review covered compliance with accreditation standards in the areas of academic programs, faculty, student affairs and services, library, learning resources, governance, financial resources and facilities. SACSCOC also requires that the university engage in regular and meaningful assessment of its activities and integrate its planning with resource allocation with the goal of continuous improvement.

"To receive a SACSCOC reaffirmation with no recommendations for improvement is highly unusual for any university, and speaks to the very high quality and dedication of ODU's faculty, administrators and staff in support of our educational and research goals," noted Provost Carol Simpson.

The centerpiece of the reaffirmation of accreditation was the QEP, a new element introduced by SACSCOC to emphasize the need for each member institution to be engaged in an ongoing program of improvement.

"Improving Disciplinary Writing" aims to improve upper-division undergraduate students' disciplinary writing - that is, writing that demonstrates a reasoning process supported by research and reflection on a problem, topic or issue. To achieve the goal, the university has implemented two faculty initiatives: (1) faculty workshops designed to teach faculty the techniques identified as the best practices to teach and assess writing, and (2) action projects designed to encourage academic programs to develop and implement best practices to improve writing. Faculty feedback on initial workshop offerings has been very enthusiastic.

"This accomplishment is the result of more than two years of hard work and dedication by a team of faculty, staff and administrators, as well as the cooperation and support of the entire campus," Broderick said. "I'd like to thank Provost Carol Simpson for her overall leadership and SACSCOC reaffirmation co-chairs Marty Sharpe and Sara Morris for their Herculean efforts to lead this lengthy and arduous process to its successful conclusion. Additionally, significant gratitude goes to Mona Danner and Worth Pickering for their pioneering work developing our Quality Enhancement Plan, 'Improving Disciplinary Writing.'"

Following the 10-year accreditation cycle, the university last received accreditation in 2002.

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