Business / Education / Local / National / Opinion & Editorial / Virginia

Q&A on SACSCOC probation of NSU

What is the SACSCOC?

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states, including the Commonwealth of Virginia. The SACSCOC (the “Commission”) is a private, nonprofit voluntary organization that is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Are institutions on Probation still accredited?

Yes. Institutions remain accredited by the SACSCOC while on Probation.

Why was Norfolk State University placed on probation SACSCOC?

The SACSCOC placed Norfolk State University on Probation for twelve months after its review of Monitoring Reports and financial statements related to finances, governance, adequacy of full-time faculty, educational program assessment, and policy adherence. The University is required to host a SACSCOC Special Committee On-Site Visit during the fall of 2015 to demonstrate its compliance with the Principles of Accreditation – the accreditation standards of the Commission.

How long will NSU be on probation?

The University was placed on probation for 12 months. It is anticipated that the SACSCOC will review NSU’s accreditation status at its December 2015 Annual Meeting.

Will NSU lose its accreditation?

No. While the action taken by the SACSCOC to place NSU on probation is very serious, the institution continues to be accredited. The NSU Board of Visitors and administration say they are fully committed and prepared to implement all of the necessary corrective actions to satisfactorily address the cited compliance areas of concern.

Does NSU’s probation status affect my financial aid?

No. The University remains accredited by the SACSCOC and is therefore, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to offer and award federal financial aid to eligible students.

Does probation impact the accreditation of departments that are accredited by other associations?

The probation decision does not affect the accreditation status of other academic programs that are currently accredited by specialized accrediting associations. NSU will keep the specialized accrediting associations informed as it works to remove the SACSCOC sanction of probation.

Does NSU have other academic or specialized program accreditations?

Yes. Norfolk State University has numerous programs accredited by prestigious associations.

For a full list, please visit

How will NSU’s probation affect my Fall or Spring Graduation? Will employers want to hire me?

The value of your NSU degree will not be diminished and is just as valid as it was before the sanction of probation. You will still graduate from an accredited institution with a legacy of producing high performing graduates. The SACSCOC sanction did not arise from concerns about the quality of NSU’s academic programs.

How will NSU’s probation affect my ability to gain internships?

The SACSCOC sanction does not reflect concerns about the quality of NSU’s academic programs. Faculty will continue to provide excellent instruction and programs to ensure that students remain highly competitive for internship opportunities.

How will NSU’s probation affect my ability to apply for graduate school?

You will still be a graduate of an accredited institution. The SACSCOC sanction did not arise from concerns about the quality of NSU’s academic programs. NSU graduates will continue to be highly competitive for admission to any graduate program.

How can I stay informed about new developments regarding NSU’s status with SACSCOC?

Norfolk State University has information on its website on accreditation, in general, at Any new developments regarding the SACSCOC decision will be posted on the website at under accreditation at

What can I do to help?

Share with your friends, parents and family the following information.

  • Norfolk State University remains an accredited institution of higher education.
  • NSU is a great place to learn, live and work.
  • Accurate information about what probation really means is on the NSU website.
  • NSU is committed to removing the probation sanction.