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ULM reaffirmed through 2029 – University enters 65th year of continuous accreditation

Published Dec. 10, 2019

The University of Louisiana Monroe has received official confirmation of institutional accreditation for the next 10 years from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


The reaffirmation of accreditation, which ULM has held continuously since 1955, was officially announced on Dec. 10, 2019, by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees during their annual meeting in Houston.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the reaffirmation process and the outstanding review received, which reflects the true quality of ULM,” said President Nick J. Bruno, Jr., Ph.D.  “SACSCOC accreditation is essential for demonstrating the high academic quality and educational experiences that ULM students receive. Reaffirmation of accreditation is only possible through the hard work, commitment, and combined efforts of the entire university community. I commend Dr. Judy Fellows, associate vice president for Academic Affairs and accreditation liaison, and Allison Thompson, associate liaison, for their leadership and ULM’s faculty, staff and students for their contribution to our success.”

Following an initial off-site review in fall 2018, an on-site SACSCOC team spent three days at ULM in March 2019 to conduct a detailed analysis and examination of documents and physical evidence for more than 70 standards. Members of the on-site team also met with faculty, staff, students, alumni, community leaders and Board of Supervisors and Board of Regents members to verify compliance.

“The goal of the rigorous, peer-driven process to achieve SACSCOC reaffirmation of accreditation is for universities to demonstrate that they are continuously seeking improvement for all aspects of student learning,” said Fellows.  “Off-site evaluators, on-site evaluators and members of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees scrutinize every aspect of the university with regard to roles and functions. ULM’s successful outcome is the result of the daily commitment by our faculty and staff to provide our students with the highest quality education.”

One of the functions of the SACSCOC decennial review process is the institution’s creation of a large-scale project to improve students learning, or Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

ULM’s QEP, “Focus on Biology” is designed to improve students’ critical thinking skills through hands-on active learning sessions which students will attend as companions to their traditional entry-level biology courses. 

Anne Case Hanks, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the School of Sciences in the College of Arts, Education, and Science, and Mallory Benedetto, instructor of biology and QEP coordinator, anticipate that “Focus on Biology” will increase student success in their current courses and future ones as well.

The on-site reaffirmation committee offered the following observations on ULM’s QEP, “It is clear that the plan to increase student success in biology gateway courses benefits from a tradition of intentional improvement of teaching and learning at the institution and fits within the scope of the institutional mission. This culture was evident throughout the site visit, with examples including faculty development of active learning, data-driven triage of mathematics courses, a custom-designed alert system and data repository, an attendance policy that ensures students attend class, and – as the committee learned from meeting with students – first-year research opportunities that two students unequivocally called their most impactful college learning experiences.”


Founded in 1895, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is currently comprised of the Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (CASI) and the Commission on Colleges (COC). The Commission on Colleges was founded in 1917 and was organized to develop standards and a process for accrediting colleges and universities in the South.

SACSCOC has the responsibility for assuring the educational quality and improvement of the effectiveness of our member institutions located throughout eleven southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia), several international institutions and all of their approved locations (including branch campuses and off-campus instructional sites irrespective of their location) that grant associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees.

When an institution has earned accreditation by SACSCOC, it signifies that it has “a purpose appropriate to higher education and has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish and sustain that purpose.” In addition to ensuring that its institutions provide quality programs for students which determines eligibility for Title IV funds (student financial aid), SACSCOC works to influence legislation and regulations that impact the work of its member institutions. 

The SACSCOC accrediting process and all of its policies, processes, procedures, and decisions are based on the concepts of integrity or dealing openly and honestly with its member institutions and quality or an on-going program of improvement that ensures fulfillment of their stated mission.