December 16, 2019
On December 10, East Texas Baptist University received word from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) that ETBU was in compliance with all 75 standards and 25 policies to reaffirm accreditation with no recommendations. The next reaffirmation period is set to begin in 10 years.
“It is a rare occurrence for a school to have no recommendations,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Thomas Sanders said. “I want to express my sincere gratitude to God for this remarkable result. While our team worked incredibly hard and made wise decisions, the end result is surely the work of a mighty God. I am blessed to work with a president and a cabinet who supported the work of reaffirmation, without it, we could not carry out the mission of ETBU.”
SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. The Commission’s mission is the enhancement of education quality throughout the region and the improvement of the effectiveness of institutions by ensuring that they meet standards established by the higher education community that address the needs of society and students. Accreditation by SACSCOC signifies that the institution (1) has a mission appropriate to higher education, (2) has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that mission, and (3) 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 process of seeking reaffirmation required support from every department on campus with individuals from every area writing responses and providing documentation over a three-year process,” Assistant Provost Emily Prevost said. “Though the process was at times overwhelming, it was so affirming to review every aspect of the University’s work and to be able to see details of each person’s work that contribute to our mission.”
Peer review is a cornerstone of the institutional review and accreditation process. In April of 2019, an On-Site Reaffirmation Committee comprised of a group of higher education professionals visited the East Texas Baptist campus to conduct a focused evaluation, confirming matters of compliance before completing the Report of the Reaffirmation Committee. The report was recently approved by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees at their meeting in early December, finalizing the University’s reaffirmation of accreditation. While the reaffirmation process for a university is a technical one, East Texas Baptist is fully committed to achieving excellence on every front in order to produce well-equipped, servant-hearted graduates who are prepared to go from the Hill and change the world for Christ.
“Following years of preparation, including planning meetings, training workshops, effectiveness review sessions, policy/procedure evaluations, volumes of writing, continual edits, and prayer—much prayer, we are grateful to God for the blessing of reaffirmation that we worked so hard to achieve,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “We acknowledge and appreciate the important work of our peers in higher education to support our commitment to the Gospel mission for which God founded this institution in 1912 and for which He compels us to carry forth today and tomorrow.”