ETSU received news of the reaffirmation of its accreditaton on Dec. 5, 2023.

East Tennessee State University is celebrating a milestone that occurs only once every 10 years: reaffirmation of its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The reaffirmation announcement was made at the SACSCOC annual meeting on Dec. 5. ETSU received full reaccreditation status with no findings or recommendations.

“ETSU must undergo the reaffirmation process every 10 years to ensure that the institution continues to deliver high-quality educational programs, operate efficiently and progress toward its public mission,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “This successful reaffirmation is not just a mark of institutional success; it is a testament to the years of planning and countless individuals who have worked tirelessly to guide us through what is a rigorous and in-depth evaluative process.”

As part of the reaffirmation process, ETSU was required to develop a plan to enhance educational quality and student success for the next decade. Driven by the institutional mission to improve the quality of life for people in the region and beyond and the university’s commitment to preparing students for lifelong success, ETSU’s faculty and staff decided to focus the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) on expanding opportunities for students to gain real-world, hands-on experience while making an impact in the community. Dubbed “Go Beyond the Classroom,” the plan will intensify ETSU’s focus on community-engaged learning. 

ETSU’s Go Beyond the Classroom establishes a framework that enables students to forge stronger connections between their coursework and real-world challenges. Emphasizing experiences such as alternative breaks, internships, and service projects empowers students to make a meaningful impact.

“The Go Beyond the Classroom initiative is transformative and is poised to enhance educational outcomes and the overall student experience at ETSU,” said Dr. Kimberly D. McCorkle, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “Our faculty and staff have actively explored and implemented innovative approaches to expand community-engaged learning opportunities which will benefit our students and our region.”

The QEP was just one part of the extensive reaffirmation of accreditation process by SACSCOC, whose mission is “to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions.”

The process spanned 15 months, with ETSU submitting two major documents, including a Compliance Certification and the QEP. It also consisted of off-site and on-site reaffirmation reviews and a final review by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees.

All institutions accredited by SACSCOC are required to undergo a review for reaffirmation of accreditation every 10 years. For more information on SACSCOC, visit

East Tennessee State University was founded in 1911 with a singular mission: to improve the quality of life for people in the region and beyond. Through its world-class health sciences programs and interprofessional approach to health care education, ETSU is a highly respected leader in rural health research and practices. The university also boasts nationally ranked programs in the arts, technology, computing, and media studies. ETSU serves approximately 14,000 students each year and is ranked among the top 10 percent of colleges in the nation for students graduating with the least amount of debt.

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