TSTC Harlingen, TSTC Marshall, TSTC Waco, and TSTC West Texas are each accredited independently by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The SACS Commission on Colleges is the recognized regional accrediting body for institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and/or doctoral degrees.
Accreditation is the result of thorough and careful evaluation of the educational quality of an institution. It signifies that the institution has a purpose appropriate to higher education and has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish its purpose on a continuing basis. Accreditation is vitally important for a number of reasons, such as recognition of academic credits for transfer and participation in federal financial aid programs.
Every ten years, accredited colleges go through a multi-year process of reaffirmation of accreditation. This process begins with a college self-study that involves many faculty and staff throughout the institution. College personnel assess the extent to which the institution is in compliance with specific core requirements, comprehensive standards, and federal regulations. And each college develops a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) which addresses one or more issues that contribute to institutional improvement, describing a carefully designed and focused course of action on a well-defined topic or issue(s) related to enhancing student learning. In addition, educators from other institutions of higher education conduct an on-site visit to assess the college’s educational strengths and weaknesses. This committee’s written report helps the college improve its programs and refine its QEP, and it provides the basis on which SACS decides to grant, continue, reaffirm, or withdraw accreditation; the college’s response to the report is also considered. Reaffirmation of accreditation follows if SACS is confident that the college has the resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish its purpose.
TSTC’s reaffirmation dates are as follows: