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Accreditation Support: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Mapping the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Satisfaction-Priorities Surveys to the SACSCOC Principles

Many institutions rely upon the Ruffalo Noel Levitz (RNL) suite of satisfaction and priorities survey results to demonstrate the fulfillment of institutional accreditation requirements. In the 11-state region served by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, SACSCOC-accredited colleges and universities are responsible for showing fulfillment of the Principles of Accreditation that became effective January 1, 2018. In addition to evaluating the Principle of Integrity found in Section 1 of the statement of Principles, SACSCOC enumerates additional core requirements and standards within Sections 2 through 14 of the statement. These requirements and standards (described below as “components”) collectively form the expectations which an accredited institution must demonstrate in its compliance report. RNL student surveys can help!

The PDF documents available via the links below show the RNL survey items mapped to the SACSCOC components, tailored specifically to each RNL survey. Please note:

  • SACSCOC requirements are stated as adopted by the membership on December 5, 2017, effective January 1, 2018. These components supersede those that were effective January 1, 2012. The statement of Principles of Accreditation is copyrighted by SACSCOC.
  • Every SACSCOC requirement stated in the PDF is identified by a rubric that begins with its section number followed by its item number plus sub-component identifier, if any (i.e., 9.7, 10.1.a, etc.). SACSCOC attributes a short name to each component; for example, Section 9 item 7 is labeled "Program Requirements" in the statement of Principles.
  • Under each accreditation component, the documents reflect one or more RNL survey items number plus the text of the item as it appears within the designated RNL survey. Thus, survey items are clustered based on the requirements they support. Certain RNL survey items may appear under multiple accreditation components.
  • In order to simplify print formatting in the PDF available for download, the text of some SACSCOC components has been lightly edited and/or truncated, especially if the original text is more than 20 words. Key words and phrases from the original have been preserved; please see the original text in the statement of the Principles to understand any requirement in its entirety. 
  • Not all SACSCOC requirements refer to processes that students can experience, so not all SACSCOC requirements have been listed with a survey item affiliated. For example, few if any students experience the processes of institutional planning; those requirements are not listed because there are no affiliated RNL survey items. Also, only the Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey items which students rate for “Importance” and/or “Satisfaction” appear in these mappings.
  • Many relationships between the accreditation requirements and RNL survey items should be self-evident. Mapped relationships between a survey item and SACSCOC requirements may be either direct or indirect. For example, not only do students experience instructional and support services directly, but also, the institutional training programs for faculty and staff indirectly affect the quality of the services that students experience. The mappings are meant to be illustrative, not comprehensive and definitive.
  • The final section of the document lists survey items which may be related to SACSCOC requirements at the discretion of the survey user (especially, the campus-created survey items).
  • Questions about these documents or the survey instruments? Please contact Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey items mapped to the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation

Download the appropriate document(s) based on the survey version(s) you are using on your campus:

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