March 9, 2017
CHARLESTON, SC – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has received reaffirmation of its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the university’s regional accrediting body, which determines, among other things, whether MUSC is authorized to offer federal financial aid to students. Reaffirmation of MUSC’s accreditation by SACSCOC occurs every 10 years.
The SACSCOC reviewers visited the MUSC campus over the past two days for two key reasons. First, to determine whether the university meets each of SACSCOC’s 103 standards through interviews with MUSC leaders, faculty, staff, and students. The reviewers had previously received substantial written documentation of MUSC’s compliance with these standards. The on-site visit rounded out this information with personal interactions.
By the end of their visit, the reviewers determined that MUSC is in compliance with all standards. Furthermore, the group noted they had no recommendations concerning compliance, a noteworthy achievement in the accreditation process.
“The reaffirmation of accreditation with no recommendations translates to a clean bill of health for the university,” said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. “The reviewers told us they were especially impressed with how MUSC’s faculty, staff, and students reflected our commitment to innovation and collaboration, two of MUSC’s core values.”
The second role of the onsite reviewers was as consultants to MUSC regarding its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) titled “Team Up for Better Health.” The QEP is a required element of SACSCOC accreditation.
“Even without this requirement for accreditation, we would embrace the QEP initiative since it aligns perfectly with the goals of Imagine MUSC 2020, our institution’s strategy for the future,” Cole said. “Team Up for Better Health is a set of activities and initiatives that will improve students’ practical, applied teamwork skills, and, thereby, help our graduates be even more marketable to employers and more competitive for prestigious residencies and fellowships. Team Up for Better Health will also help improve the practice of effective teamwork across the clinical and research missions,” he noted.
SACSCOC standards reflect a broad range of expectations for institutions of higher education including effective governance, appropriate stewardship of financial and physical resources, adequate faculty and staff (all with appropriate qualifications), protection of academic freedom, sufficient faculty development opportunities, progress in the research mission, evaluation of all employees, effective student support services, sufficient library resources, and indices that the institution engages in continuous quality improvement through systematic evaluation of performance against its mission.
“Preparing for our reaffirmation of accreditation, which is critical to our mission as an institution of higher education, was indeed a collaborative effort across the enterprise,” Cole said. “Special thanks and recognition go to Dr. Suzanne Thomas for leading MUSC through the process and to Dr. Jeff Borckardt for leading Team Up for Better Health.
“We should all be proud of this accomplishment and what it means for us in terms of the ability to carry out our vision to lead health innovation for the lives we touch in the areas of education, research, and patient care.”
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 700 residents in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), and has nearly 14,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.4 billion, with an annual economic impact of more than $3.8 billion and annual research funding in excess of $250 million. MUSC operates a 700-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute-designated center), Level I Trauma Center, Institute of Psychiatry, and the state’s only transplant center. In 2017, for the third consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit MUSChealth.org.