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Christendom College was awarded reaffirmation of its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), following several years of hard work and preparation by the college’s accreditation team. The reaffirmation of accreditation, which lasts for ten years, ensures that employers and other schools can be confident that the quality of Christendom coursework and Christendom degrees have met or exceeded the standards established by peer institutions.

“This gift is the fruit of much prayer and hard work,” says College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell. “Every person at the college contributed in some way to this success. Thank you for your support in this effort.”

Christendom first received SACSCOC accreditation in 1987. Accreditation is a process for assuring that all accredited institutions offer a basic standard of education and service to their students. This is of special advantage for Christendom undergraduates who seek to go on to graduate-level work in other colleges and universities but also for any employer who wishes to hire Christendom College graduates for any position requiring associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees.

SACSCOC requires a full-scale reassessment of every institution every ten years, with less comprehensive — but still in-depth — reviews occurring at the midpoint of every ten years.

Following the last five-year checkup by SACSCOC, the college’s accreditation team immediately began work preparing for the 2022-23 reassessment. Hundreds of pages of reports were compiled, covering all aspects of college operations, including assessment of faculty and staff performance, courses offered, student services, finances, college infrastructure, and more. These reports were delivered to SACSCOC, and the college finally hosted an onsite inspection by a team of peer reviewers in March 2023. In December, the college was informed that its accreditation had been reaffirmed for the next ten years — a great moment of celebration for the college and all who support it.

“In many ways, this entire process, as we worked together towards reaffirmation of accreditation, was a model of collaboration for the college, and one that reflects the great working relationships at play among the faculty, staff, and Board of Directors,” says O’Donnell. “There are many people who must be thanked in particular for this great achievement. I must thank Executive Vice President Mark Rohlena for shepherding the overall process and coordination; Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Townsend for his hard work leading much of the effort and for his drafting work and research; Dr. Michael Kelly for his tireless work as our SACSCOC liaison, drafting, interfacing, reviewing and editing into the wee hours; Dr. Kevin Tracy for his guiding of the college’s Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) concept from initial survey data, to roll-out, to presentation and elaboration along with Dr. Andrew Whitmore and the QEP committee; Dr. Lisa Marciano, who did so much to organize our academic institutional effectiveness and to review and edit responses; Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Amanda Graf for her lead role in supervising the site visit logistics; Stephen Pilon for his technological wizardry; Brenda Seelbach, Jess McClelland, Doug Briggs for all the work pitching in along the way, and so many other staff and faculty. We also owe a special word of thanks to Michele Velasco and Karla Hester who made the great sacrifice to get up to speed on the accreditation process and represent the College during the site visit as Board members.”

Academic accreditation is a process for assuring that standards are met in educational institutions. In many countries, this process is overseen by the government, often a Ministry of Education. In the United States, however, the US Department of Education delegates the quality assurance process to various private non-profit associations. The nation is divided into regions for this purpose and Christendom College seeks accreditation from its regional agency, SACSCOC, which covers the nation from Virginia to Texas inclusive.

The assessment by SACSCOC includes a thorough review of all aspects of an educational institution, covering approximately 80 standards. Overall, the foundational expectation of the accrediting agency is that an educational institution govern itself by and remain faithful to its published mission — in the case of Christendom, to “restore all things in Christ” by forming men and women, in commitment to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, to contribute to the Christian renovation of the temporal order. Alongside of this, SACSCOC strives to ensure that every college or school advertises itself accurately, enacts policies that conform to accepted good practices, abides by its own policies, and ultimately seeks continual improvement in every aspect of institutional operations.

For more information about Christendom’s accreditation, visit here.

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