Evaluator Training Program

The purpose of the SACSCOC evaluator training program is to ensure credibility, consistency, and confirmability in peer reviews. By participating in various training activities, evaluators learn about the intent and structure of the Principles of Accreditation; develop, calibrate, and apply professional judgment to determine the strength of institutional cases for compliance; and critique and practice drafting committee report narratives. A hallmark characteristic of the Commission’s training program for peer evaluators is extensive use of real case-studies and practical mini-scenarios.

Peer review is the backbone of the SACSCOC accreditation processes. The Commission is committed to taking proactive, data-informed steps in order to continuously develop and manage its core asset – peer evaluators. Having articulated Strategic Goal 3.1 –“Reimagine how to best deliver training and professional development to institutional representatives, peer evaluators, SACSCOC board members, and SACSCOC staff and revise training experiences for those”– the Commission employs several strategies to ensure the quality of peer evaluation-based accreditation reviews.

Training materials are collaboratively developed by the Commission staff with the input from experienced peer evaluators. The Office of Training and Research (OTR) coordinates and facilitates the following training / orientation activities for Commission Trustees, Committee Chairs, and peer evaluators:

One of the key roles of Committee Chairs and Commission staff is to provide support and guidance to the committee members, especially first-time peer evaluators. Consequently, “on-the-job training” is a significant component of the Commission’s efforts to continuously enhance the quality of peer reviews. For example, almost all evaluation committees are accompanied by a Commission Vice President; Vice Presidents work to ensure consistency of evaluator judgments across committees and institutions. Further, Commission staff strives to place new reviewers with experienced ones on each committee to help encourage informal peer-to-peer mentoring.

For more information about the SACSCOC peer evaluator training program, please contact Ms. Camille Johnson, OTR Specialist, at cjohnson@sacscoc.org or 404-492-5373. Additional information about SACSCOC review committees can be found in the Committee Resources section of the website.