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SACS-COC Accreditation

Palm Beach State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The College undergoes an institutional reaffirmation process for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC) every 10 years.

SACS/COC Accreditation Statement

Current Accreditation:   SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation Letter  (July 2012)

Next reaffirmation of accreditation expected to take place in 2022.


The three elements of reaffirmation are:

  • Compliance with the 12 Core Requirements
  • Compliance with the Comprehensive Standards/ Federal Standards
  • Quality Enhancement Plan

In addition, Substantive Change is an integral part of the SACS-COC process. Please read below to learn more about this process.

Elements of the Compliance Certificate

12 Core Requirements – Palm Beach State must be in full compliance with all 12 core requirements, or reaffirmation will not be granted. There can be no recommendations on core requirements.

Comprehensive Standards – These support the 12 core requirements.

Compliance Certification – Document that shows compliance with the 12 core requirements and applicable comprehensive standards through narrative and documentation.

Who Participates - Administrators and Staff

Key Points - Documentation that shows an ongoing process and the use of assessment to improve.


Steering Committee Minutes will be posted for the 2017 Fifth Year Report.

Quality Enhancement Plan

QEP – This is a faculty-driven process to develop a project plan that targets a student outcome area needing improvement. The plan is implemented over a five-year period.

Who Participates - Faculty and staff.

Key Points - Critical elements include documenting how the topic was selected, the topic must address an area of student learning or success, and the institution must have the resources to carry out the plan.


The 2012 QEP's area of focus is Critical Thinking

Substantive Change

SACS-COC defines a substantive change as “a significant modification or expansion in the nature and scope of an accredited institution. The college is required to notify SACS-COC as much as one year in advance of a proposed substantive change. In addition, the college must complete a substantive change prospectus or a substantive change application.

Examples of substantive changes include: initiating coursework at a higher degree level, opening a new campus, offering a degree program that is substantially different than current degree programs. (see the web page at for more detailed information).

The substantive change process has been incorporated into the curriculum process for new programs. An assessment form must be completed to see if a substantive change would be required for the proposed program.

Scheduled Substantive Changes

Loxahatchee Groves Campus Prospectus

Submission Date
Summer 2016

In Progress

Technology Guidelines

Compliance Assist
Palm Beach State utilizes a content management system to manage narrative and documentation for the substantive change.

The system allows narrative text to be entered for each core requirement, comprehensive standard and Federal requirement. Text can be composed in the system to cut and pasted from Word.

All documentation must be saved in PDF format. Documentation you plan to use to provide evidence of compliance must be emailed to Dr. Syeda Qadri in Institutional Research & Effectiveness.

Links to Documentation in the Narrative
When you wish to refer to a piece of documentation within your narrative, please use the following format:

All Palm Beach State associate degree programs are at least 60 credit hours in length (2015-16 Catalog).

In this example, the documentation piece is listed in parenthesis and highlighted in color so that the IRE office will know to upload the document and make the needed link.





Fifth Year Report


March 2017

Loxahatchee Groves Campus Prospectus


Summer 2016

Palm Beach State College's Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Codes

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