Bridgewater College receives SACS reaccreditation
All colleges and universities must be accredited for their students to receive federal financial aid, and the accreditation must be reaffirmed every 10 years.
The reaccreditation application process submitted every aspect of the college and its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to scrutiny in a peer-review system authorized and overseen by SACS Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Areas examined for standards compliance included finances, governance, academic programs, faculty qualifications, facilities, student support services, learning resources and student life.
Bridgewater received high marks in the compliance categories with special praise given for work in assessment. Compliance coordinator Dr. Mark Hogan and director of assessment Dr. James Josefson have been invited by SACS to present some of Bridgewater’s techniques for institutional effectiveness at the SACSCOC summer institute in Atlanta later this month.
The Quality Enhancement Plan, another important facet of the reaffirmation review, is a project targeted to enhance student learning. The plan submitted by Bridgewater College addresses Academic Citizenship and focuses on two key components of the college experience for Bridgewater students – ensuring academic success through engaged learning and providing students with the skills needed to participate actively in civil discourse.
Interim President Roy W. Ferguson Jr. said the success of the reaffirmation visit is a tribute to the entire campus community that worked diligently to prepare for it.
“This external validation by our peers is very important as Bridgewater’s reputation for academic excellence continues to grow,” he said.
“We are delighted with this strong endorsement from SACS,” said Dr. Carol Scheppard, vice president and dean for academic affairs at Bridgewater. “Students, faculty and staff members all worked together to see this process through. Hosting the SACS on-site team was especially gratifying as an opportunity to see the fruits of all that labor shine.”
Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,700 undergraduate students.
SACS is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting institutions of higher education in the Southern states. Its mission is to enhance educational quality throughout the region and to improve the effectiveness of institutions by ensuring that they meet standards established by the higher education community for the needs of society and students.