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ASU achieves single accreditation for all campuses


July 25, 2006

Opportunities have widened for ASU West campus students, as the university has achieved single institutional accreditation for all campuses.

Previously, the Polytechnic, Downtown Phoenix and Tempe campuses held joint institutional accreditation, and the West campus held a separate and different accreditation status from the same accrediting body.

Institutional accreditation by a nationally recognized agency provides quality assurance to the public, particularly prospective students, current students and future employers, of an institution's ability to meet the agency's requirements and criteria for higher education.

For ASU, single accreditation means that programs on all campuses are held to identical standards of academic excellence, as validated by an external organization. Single accreditation enables students from the West campus to enroll in courses or participate in sports and extracurricular activities at other ASU campuses.

Academically, single accreditation also allows West campus colleges and schools to consider offering selected doctoral degrees, online degrees or degrees at international locations – all of which had been approved by the accreditation body for other ASU campuses.

Single accreditation won't affect research opportunities, faculty tenure process or daily operations at the West campus, but students will reap significant benefits from the new designation.

From an extracurricular perspective, West campus students can participate in athletic programs at ASU, or the West campus can consider establishing its own sports programs.

“With this new accreditation status, our campus will open new doors for our students, whether that is achieving a doctoral degree or playing on an ASU athletic team,” says Mark Searle, provost of the ASU West campus. “I believe these benefits will enhance our reputation locally, regionally and nationally.”

West campus and university administration officials filed a report requesting single accreditation status in January. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools granted the request in May, allowing ASU's four campuses to fall under one accreditation umbrella.

In addition to achieving single accreditation, ASU implemented the following initiatives to gain consistency in procedures across campuses:

• Designate ASU and the college awarding the degree on diplomas, rather than the campus the student attended to achieve the degree.

• Establish a “Task Force for a New American University Curriculum” to create common ASU learning outcomes and adopt these as a foundation for a common general education curriculum.

• Introduce the Barrett Honors program to all campuses.

• Share the same student, personnel, and financial records and administrative databases.

• Offer programs within the University College at all campuses.

• Create consistent student policies and appeals guidelines across campuses.

• Open fellowship eligibility to graduate students at all four campuses.

• Provide one general and graduate catalog with common policies and procedures for students.

• Offer a common class schedule for students on all campuses.