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News Release

SACS Reaffirms Lamar University Accreditation

June 25, 2010

(BEAUMONT, TX) – Lamar University has received reaffirmation of its accreditation from the Council on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). University officials were notified by phone of the successful conclusion of the thorough reaffirmation process.

The SACS reaffirmation is not only important to the university in terms of its ability to offer federal financial aid to students, but it is also a “stamp of approval” that university programs meet or exceed national standards. Thus, this recognition is essential to Lamar students as they pursue graduate study and employment after completing their baccalaureate degrees.

“We are very pleased to receive reaffirmation,” said James Simmons, president of the university. “Not only is this of tremendous importance to our students and faculty – indeed, for the entire university – but there is significant value in the reaffirmation process itself. Both the internal self-examination done in preparation and the external evaluation by knowledgeable peers are healthy and valuable for any institution.”

Simmons credited the success of this effort to the hard work of LU faculty and administrators, particularly those in the College of Education & Human Development who have been instrumental in the development of Lamar’s new successful, high profile, graduate online degrees. Stephenie Yearwood, SACS Liaison and Professor of English, organized the reaffirmation effort for the university and guided administration, faculty and staff through the multistep process. “We picked the right person for the job,” Simmons said. “We owe her a very large ‘thank you’ for a job well done.”

The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the regional accrediting body for institutions awarding degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels. It accredits higher education institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, as well as Latin America and other international sites approved by the commission. Lamar University has held this regional accreditation continuously since 1955.

The commission seeks to enhance educational quality throughout the region and improve the effectiveness of
institutions by ensuring they meet standards established by the higher education community to address the needs of society and students. Accreditation is intended to assure constituents and the public of the quality and integrity of higher education institutions and programs, and to help those institutions and programs improve. These outcomes are achieved through rigorous internal and external review processes during which the institution is evaluated against a common set of standards.