LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Polytechnic University was granted initial regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a significant milestone the University has diligently worked toward since its founding.
This decision means future Florida Poly graduates, and those who graduated earlier this year, will have a degree from a regionally accredited university.
Governor Rick Scott said, “I was proud in 2012 to sign the bill creating Florida Polytechnic University and today’s announcement furthers the university’s goal of providing students with a world-class education. Florida Polytechnic’s focus on STEM is helping create a new generation of innovative leaders in Florida and I applaud its achievement of initial regional accreditation by the SACSCOC.”
“Our University has achieved a number of significant milestones in our short history, but this is the biggest yet,” said Florida Poly President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “Accreditation signals to prospective students and faculty that we are serious and legitimate contenders in the world of higher education.”
“Achieving accreditation was our last Legislative mandate,” said President Avent. “Today’s announcement allows us to move forward from the start-up phase and into new territory as we work to build a stronger Florida and lead the charge to develop future high-tech business leaders, create jobs and grow Florida’s economy. Adding accreditation to our credentials greatly enhances our ability to advance our STEM-focused mission,” said President Avent.
Regional accreditation brings many benefits to the University, including fulfilling our commitment to the State of Florida that they would have an accredited university focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Regional accreditation is necessary for our students, on an ongoing basis, to receive federal financial aid such as Pell Grants and federally guaranteed student loans; accreditation is also required for universities to receive federal research funding that supports students as a part of university research programs.
“It is my pleasure to advise that the SACSCOC Board of Trustees approved the initial accreditation of Florida Polytechnic University at its June meeting,” said SACSCOC Vice President Dr. Mary Kirk. “Becoming an accredited university is not easy, but Florida Poly has met the high standards we require for educational quality, accountability, and continuous improvement.”
The University was named a candidate for accreditation a year ago by SACSCOC after meeting the initial set of standards. During this past year, Florida Poly worked to complete the final step for accreditation by submitting detailed documentation demonstrating the school’s compliance with all principles of accreditation. Representatives of SACSCOC also visited campus in February for three days of reviewing facilities and meeting with faculty and staff.
“Today’s announcement validates years of hard work,” said Frank T. Martin, chairman of the Florida Poly Board of Trustees. “As an original board member, I’ve been involved in every stage of this university’s growth. We have achieved tremendous accomplishments and certainly faced our challenges, but today is truly a landmark day for Florida’s 12th State University and I’m proud of this achievement as we prepare our students to become the next generation of STEM leaders.”
SACSCOC is the recognized regional accrediting body in the eleven U.S. Southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and in Latin America for institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degrees. The Commission on Colleges’ Board of Trustees is the representative body of the College Delegate Assembly and is charged with carrying out the accreditation process. For information contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4558.