Once the little brother of the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus, USF Sarasota-Manatee continues to grow as an institution, earning 10-year accreditation just before Christmas.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, a non-governmental organization that accredits schools and universities in the south, designated the accreditation at the Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta on Dec. 6.
“Reaffirmation of our accreditation is a nice holiday gift to our university,” Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone said after learning of the accreditation last month. “It confirms the strides that our campus and our programs have made since our initial accreditation was granted five years ago.”
Reaffirmation of our accreditation is a nice holiday gift to our university. It confirms the strides that our campus and our programs have made since our initial accreditation was granted five years ago.
- Regional Chancellor Dr. Sandra Stone
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In 2011 USFSM was granted accreditation independent of USF’s Tampa branch for the first time. Prior to that, the school’s accreditation was based on its affiliation with the Tampa campus. Now, all three USF branches — Tampa, Sarasota-Manatee and Saint Petersburg — are independently accredited.
A team of 10 experts from outside the state visited USFSM to evaluate the school, and the school completed a self evaluation assessing their success at meeting roughly 100 educational standards.
A press release from the university touted the findings of the out-of-state evaluators, who reported no issues needing follow-up reporting:
“(The Association’s) notification that no follow-up reporting is required for this accreditation cycle demonstrates USF Sarasota-Manatee’s commitment to upholding the highest standards of teaching, research and service,” the release stated. “Earning separate accreditation shows the strength of its students, faculty and staff.”
USFSM first opened in 1974, and for 39 years focused on courses for upper-level undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students. The first freshman class began in 2013.