Savannah State University
Fifth-Year Interim Report
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CS 3.13 Policy Compliance

The institution complies with the policies of the Commission on Colleges.


3.13 A. Accrediting Decisions of Other Agencies


Applicable Policy Statement . Any institution seeking or holding accreditation from more than one U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting body must describe itself in identical terms to each recognized accrediting body with regard to purpose, governance, programs, degrees, diplomas, certificates, personnel, finances, and constituencies, and must keep each institutional accrediting body apprised of any change in its status with one or another accrediting body.


Documentation :  The institution should (1) list federally recognized agencies that currently accredit the institution, (2) provide the date of the most recent review by each agency and indicate if negative action was taken by the agency and the reason for such action, (3) provide copies of statements used to describe itself for each of the accrediting bodies, (4) indicate any agency that has terminated accreditation, the date, and the reason for termination, and (5) indicate the date and reason for the institution voluntarily withdrawing accreditation with any of the agencies. (Or you can reference Part II, Item 5, Accreditation, for your response and also include your response to Item (3) above.)


Compliance                     ___ Non-Compliance




Savannah State University is in compliance with this standard. In addition to the accreditation that the university holds with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, eight programs at SSU are currently accredited or approved by federally recognized accrediting agencies.  The external accrediting agencies that accredit academic programs at SSU are specifically recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. All externally accredited programs have gone through similar steps to apply for accreditation, become accredited, and maintain accreditation status in good standing. These steps include the establishment of standards, preparation of a self-study document in which the program assesses its performance against the established standards, on-site evaluation which allows accreditation team members to determine and validate that the program meets the established standards, ongoing monitoring to assure that the program continues to meet standards throughout the granted period of accreditation, and periodic re-evaluation to determine whether continuation of accreditation status will be granted. 



Table 3.13A below lists: 1)  the names of the federally and internationally recognized agencies that accredit programs at SSU;  2) the date of the most recent review of each program; 3) links to the most recent self-study reports; 4) the status of each program with a link to its accreditation letter; and 5)  the date of the next program review.


Table 3.13A Programs Accredited by Other Agencies 


Accrediting Agency

Accredited Program

Date of Most Recent Review

Program Status (and link to Accreditation Letter )

Next Review

American Chemical Society




Continued accreditation for six years



Civil Engineering Technology

November 2012

Continued accreditation for six years


Fall 2018

AACSB International

BBA Accounting



BBA Management

BBA Marketing


February 2015




Continued accreditation for five years



Electronic Engineering Technology

November 2012

Continued accreditation for six years

Fall 2018


Journalism/Mass Communications

May 2013

Continued accreditation for six years


National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration

Master of Public Administration

Spring 2016

Continued accreditation for one year

March 31, 2017

Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC)

School of Teacher Education

September 8-10, 2013

Continued accreditation for five years

April 2018

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW);

Master of Social Work (MSW)

October 2010

Continued accreditation for 8 years



3.13 B. Complaint Procedures against the Commission or Its Accredited Institutions


Applicable Policy Statement .  In addition to FR 4.5 regarding complaints, the Commission also requires, in accord with federal regulations, that each institution maintains a record of complaints received by the institution.  This record is made available to the Commission upon request.


Documentation :  Normally, this record will be reviewed and evaluated by the Commission as part of the institution’s decennial evaluation; however, during the fifth-year interim review, when addressing this policy statement, the institution should provide information to the Commission describing how the institution maintains its record and (1) individuals/offices responsible for the maintenance of the record(s), (2) elements of a complaint review that are included in the record, and (3) where the record(s) is located (centralized or decentralized). 


Compliance                     ___ Non-Compliance






Savannah State University (SSU) complies with the Commission on Colleges Complaint Procedures Against the Commission or Its Accredited Institutions . Moreover, as stated in FR 4.5, SSU has procedures which are followed by the offices responsible for handling complaints.  SSU attempts to solve student complaints informally whenever possible.  However, if the grievance cannot be addressed through informal means the Student Grievance Policy provides a formal, standardized method by which students can seek a resolution to interactions or situations where treatment by a faculty and/or staff is considered unjust or improper.


Grievances of students in online courses, including the BBA Online degree program are documented and maintained using the same procedure. In addition, SSU has procedures faculty, staff, administrators and others may follow to file a complaint against SSU or SACSCOC.


Complaints are categorized as 1) academic grievances relating to violation of faculty and program responsibilities; and 2) non-academic grievances dealing with conditions that disadvantage a student unnecessarily such as instructor’s abuse of authority, discrimination, harassment. Each of these types of complaints has a specific process for review, including identification of the office responsible for the process and maintenance of the records. 


Maintenance of Complaint Records

SSU has a decentralized approach to recordkeeping related to student grievances and complaints by others. Digital and/or hardcopy records are maintained by the offices that handle these grievances.  Written complaints are logged and are kept on file as digital and/or paper records in the office of the administrator receiving the complaint. The following offices and individuals are responsible for maintaining appropriate complaint records.  Under each Office is listed the elements of a complaint review record and the physical location of the records.

Office of the President

Responsible Individual

Dr. David Smith, Chief of Staff


Elements of a Complaint Review Record

Student Complaint Form

Supporting Documentation


Location of Records

Office of the President, Hill Hall

Office of Academic Affairs

Responsible Individual(s)

Dr. Lisa Yount, Associate Provost

Dr. Frank Williams, Special Assistant to the Provost

Elements of a Complaint Review Record

Student complaints that are not resolved to the students’ satisfaction at the college level via the Dean’s Offices are sent to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for resolution.  Appeals and documentation supporting the appeals are sent to Academic Affairs via an e-mail address (, to which staff in the Provost’s Office and other units across the division have access (Registrar’s Office; Center for Academic Success). Telephone calls and walk-ins are directed to submit appeals via email to the same email address ( ). The appeal is reviewed by the Provost’s office staff and a determination is made as to what additional information, if any, is needed.  If all of the necessary information and documentation are provided, the information in the appeal is verified and contact is made with the individuals or offices in the line of authority, depending on the nature of the appeal.

For academic appeals, the faculty member(s), department chair (or designee), and dean (or designee) must have been contacted and must have rendered a decision on the appeal prior to the appeal being reviewed and a decision being made in the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. If the appeal is non-academic in nature, the necessary offices within Academic Affairs or in other divisions across the campus are contacted to determine what investigation has occurred, what decisions were made prior to the appeal being directed to Academic Affairs, and the justification for the decisions. Once it has been determined by office staff that the appeal process warrants a meeting with the provost, the meeting date and time are set on the provost's calendar. The provost examines the student's statement, accompanying documents, seeks information and clarity via related parties, and meets with the student. Based on University policy per specific academic or non-academic issue and on the details of the case, the provost renders a decision.

Location of Records

All records are kept on file in the Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. 


Office of Student Affairs

Responsible Individuals

Dr. Priscilla Williams, Director, University Housing & Residence Life (Housing Complaint)

Mr. Desmond Stowe, Director, Office of Student Life (Student Conduct Complaint)


Elements of a Complaint Review Record


Students are encouraged to seek an informal resolution of the matter directly with the faculty or individual(s) involved when possible. For matters where a resolution is not feasible, a Grievance/Complaint Form can be completed and filed with the Division of Student Affairs. The complaint is logged, assigned a number, and forwarded to the Vice President of the area of the complaint. If the subject matter is an academic complaint, the complaint is forwarded to the Office of the Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs.


Location of Records

All completed forms and other relevant documents are kept on file in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.  

Office of the Auditor and Interim Title IX Coordinator 

If the complaint alleges discrimination based on race, color, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, the complaint is forwarded to Ms. Elaine Campbell, Interim Title IX Coordinator.

Elements of a Complaint Review Record

Student Complaint Form

Location of Records

Office of the Internal Auditor and Interim Title IX Coordinator

3.13 C. Reaffirmation of Accreditation and Subsequent Reports

Applicable Policy Statement. An institution includes a review of its distance learning programs in the Compliance Certification and in its Fifth-Year Compliance Certification.

Documentation: To be in compliance with this policy, the institution must have incorporated an assessment of its compliance with standards that apply to its distance and correspondence education programs and courses.

Judgment of Compliance:

Compliance                     ___ Non-Compliance

Narrative/Justification for Judgment of Compliance:

Distance education is called Online Education at Savannah State University and refers to fully online and hybrid courses. The university does not offer correspondence education programs. Savannah State University is including a review of assessment of its online and hybrid education offerings in the Fifth-Year Compliance Certification.

SSU has one fully online degree program—The Online Bachelor of Business Administration in Management (BBA Online).  The university is also an affiliate institution in eCore, a University system of Georgia initiative that offers the two- year general education core curriculum online. In addition, each semester SSU offers a number of fully online and hybrid sections of courses within programs and disciplines of its three colleges: Business Administration (COBA), Science and Technology (COST) and Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). Below are examples of courses that are taught online from the Spring 2016 class schedule:







World Literature




Chad Faries


Fully at a distance







Business Research




Amit Arora


Fully at a distance

Department chairs, program coordinators, and the faculty who teach online and hybrid courses review their curricula on a regular basis.  Moreover, they collaborate with the director of the Office of Online Education and the Learning Management System (LMS) Administrator to ensure consistent delivery of these courses through the BrightSpace (formerly D2L) learning management system.   When needed, the LMS Administrator also offers technical assistance to students and faculty for distance education classes. Distance Education Guidelines are posted on the university website (Online Learning Policy) . The Office of Online Education also offers workshops for faculty on best practices in online education.

SSU includes information about compliance in online education where appropriate throughout the Fifth Year Interim Report, in particular in CR 2.8, CR 2.10,  CS,  3.4.11, CS 3.11.3 and FR 4.2 – 4.9.  Summaries of these references within the report are provided below.

CR 2.8 Number of Full Time Faculty

SSU offers fully online and hybrid course sections within programs and disciplines ranging from English, Music and Political Science to Computer Science, Chemistry and Business. Distance learning courses are part of the assigned faculty member’s work load for a specific semester. Online and hybrid courses are considered when making decisions about the adequacy of the number of full time faculty.  Moreover, faculty who intend to teach online must become certified and approved to teach online courses by the Office of Online Education.

CR 2.10 Student Support Services

Students enrolled in fully online and hybrid courses have access to student support services and information from the college website and through the college’s course learning management system.


Students in fully online and hybrid courses can access registration services and information through the online self-service Bright Space (D2L) portal available on the SSU website.

Advising Services

Students enrolled in fully online and hybrid courses can access advising services and information, including pre-admission advising, career-related services, academic and transfer advising, registration assistance, and help developing an educational plan from several sources. Students who are classified as freshmen and sophomores can obtain advisement through the Center for Academic Success (CAS) webpage.  Faculty advisors for specific academic programs are available to assist distance education students by telephone, email, text and in some instances Skype or other video calling tool.

Online Education Support

Distance learning students can access services and information through the college’s website and distance learning webpage. Distance learning students can access services and information through the university’s learning management system Brightspace (D2L) and the Office of Online Education. The director of the Office of Online Education and Learning Management System Administrator provide additional and support for students and faculty.

CS Institutional Effectiveness

The development and assessment of student learning outcomes is done using the same process for all course delivery methods whether face-to-face, fully online or hybrid. The results of the assessment of online and hybrid courses informs decision making as relates to academic programs overall and courses specifically.

CS 3.4.11 Qualified Program Coordinators

Academic Program Coordinators review curriculum, including online and hybrid offerings, on a regular basis. They also work with the Office of Online Education to ensure that faculty teaching distance learning courses have opportunities for professional development to enhance their proficiency as instructors for online and hybrid courses. Such opportunities at SSU include face-to-face workshops facilitated by the Learning Management System Administrator and training via the Brightspace (D2L) learning management system.

CS 3.11.3 Physical Facilities

Technological Infrastructure

The technological infrastructure is sufficient for the needs of the institution, including fully online and hybrid course offerings. Wireless internet service is provided to serve all SSU students. The university maintains and upgrades the infrastructure as necessary.

4.2 Program Curriculum

Academic departments and programs use the same policies and procedures for development of new programs, curriculum approval, program revisions, program reviews as well as specific course development, revision and review—regardless of the mode of delivery.  

4.3 Publication of Policies

SSU policies are published in the academic calendar, Student Handbook, and University Catalog, which are available to all students through the University website. 

4.4 Program Length

The Online Bachelor of Business Administration degree program (BBA Online) as well as fully online sections of courses and hybrid courses in the other two colleges of SSU are considered when determining the appropriate program length. Program length is the same whether courses are completed online, as hybrids or fully on campus.

4.5 Student Complaints

Student complaints are documented and maintained using the same procedure for traditional, fully online and hybrid courses. Distance learning students can access all complaint policies and procedures through the university’s website. 

4.6 Recruitment Materials

Recruitment materials are published on the college website and through various media including brochures and flyers; newspaper advertising, billboards and radio, video, and social media. Students in online and hybrid courses have access to recruitment materials through these various forms of media.

4.7 Title IV Compliance

SSU provides financial aid and consumer information to all students and the public through the college website, student handbook, and the university catalogs for undergraduate and graduate students.

3.10.2 Financial Aid Audits

Funds disbursed to students in traditional on campus courses, the online BBA program and online/hybrid courses of other academic programs are included in SSU’s annual financial aid audits.  There have been no questioned costs and no improvement recommendations which would impact distance learning.

4.8 Distance Education

4.8.1 Verifying Identity

State University’s Division of Information and Technology Services (ITS) ensures that the primary method used by the institution to verify identities includes a secure log-in and password for all SSU students. At the time of registration, students registered in all courses, including all online classes, are given a unique username and password.  (SSU Online Learning Policy Manual)

4.8.2 Student Privacy

SSU has a written procedure for protecting the privacy of students enrolled in distance and correspondence education courses or programs. (SSU Online Learning Policy Manual)

4.8.3 Additional Charges

Savannah State University has a written procedure for notifying students of projected additional student charges associated with verification of student identity for students enrolled in distance education courses. Students enrolled in distance education courses at Savannah State University could incur additional charges to take proctored examinations. (SSU Online Learning Policy Manual)

4.9 Definition of Credit Hour

Savannah State University’s definition of credit hours for traditional on campus courses and distance learning courses aligns with the definition established by the U. S. Department of Education. The policy also conforms to the credit hour policy established by the SACS Commission on Colleges

Supporting Documentation and Evidence:

·          AACSB Accreditation Letter

·          American Chemical Society Letter of Reaccreditation

·          Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications reaccreditation Letter

·          ABET Accreditation Letter (Engineering Technology)

·          NASPAA Accreditation Letter (MPA)

·          Georgia Professional Standards Commission (Teacher Education)

·          Savannah State University Online Learning Policy

·          Savannah State University Online BBA

·          Student Concern Form

·          SACSCOC Credit Hour Statement