Agency Reaffirms GWU Accreditation

GWU Recognized for Quality Programs, Academic Support, and Supplemental Opportunities for Students

Gardner-Webb President Dr. Frank Bonner announced earlier this month that the University has attained official reaffirmation of its full accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

SACSCOC is one of seven regional accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The comprehensive institutional review takes place once every 10 years, and officials say it takes approximately three years for a school to complete the process from start to finish.

“Regional accreditation is extremely important for several reasons,” Bonner explained, “including the eligibility of the institution’s students for federal and state financial aid. Now that Gardner-Webb’s reaffirmation has been successfully completed. The Commission has determined that the University is in full compliance with all of its standards.”

GWU Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Ben Leslie said the review considers multiple aspects of an institution, including financial stability, strategic planning, student services, faculty qualifications, assessment of student learning outcomes, and the overall integrity of the organization.

“The review is so rigorous that it has become less and less common for institutions to complete the process without any negative findings that lead to ongoing monitoring reports,” Leslie shared, “which makes Gardner-Webb’s outcome with no negative findings all the more gratifying.”

Leslie continued, “We have an amazing team of faculty, staff, and administration at Gardner-Webb. It was truly a team effort over a nearly three-year span that included countless meetings, collection of data, creation of reports, followed by multiple revisions. Everyone pulled together to prepare a comprehensive document that made the case for full compliance with the standards of accreditation.”

Accreditation by the SACSCOC requires institutions to create a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). “The QEP is a multi-year project to improve some aspect of student learning,” Leslie explained. “Gardner-Webb’s QEP is called the ‘Writing Connection.’ Under the leadership of our QEP Director Dr. Cheryl Duffus, we plan to lead an integrated program to help students improve their written communication skills in all majors across the curriculum.” GWU administrative leaders conveyed they were thrilled to receive the reaffirmation news and believe it is a testament to the programs and services the University provides to its constituents.

“I am proud of our faculty and administrative team for their hard work over the last three years—going above and beyond their usual duties—that resulted in this stellar outcome for the University,” Leslie affirmed. “In the end, though, it is simply a recognition that Gardner-Webb is a strong institution offering quality programs, opportunities, and support to its students.”