The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee today was awarded separate accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
SACS is the private, non-governmental organization that accredits educational institutions in the southern states of the United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia). The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS-COC) is recognized by the United States Department of Education.
“We are extremely proud that we are now separately accredited and excited about the possibilities ahead,” said Regional Chancellor Dr. Arthur Guilford. “This now means that we will be able to design new programs, grant our own degrees, make faculty decisions, award diplomas, and have all advising, admissions and financial decisions here instead of in Tampa. It is a lengthy, but necessary and worthwhile process and I am so proud of our faculty, students, staff, community and President Genshaft for their incredible support.”
Institutions seeking accreditation undergo an intensive self-review process in which they assess how well they are meeting their educational missions, goals, and expected outcomes, and making improvements as needed. The institution is then visited and evaluated by a committee of experts from across the country. USF Sarasota-Manatee is committed to upholding the highest standards of teaching, research, and service, and earning separate accreditation shows the strength of their students, faculty, and staff.
“This is a terrific statement of quality for USF Sarasota-Manatee, and of maturity for the whole USF System,” USF System President Judy Genshaft said. “Congratulations to the entire team!”
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee opened in the 1974-75 academic year, providing courses for upper-level undergraduates, graduates and continuing education students. In a few years USFSM will begin recruiting a freshmen class. Today, the campus serves more than 4,500 students annually at its two location – the main campus on the border of Manatee and Sarasota Counties and in North Port.