Institutional Accreditation

Cape Fear Community College is accredited by  the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Cape Fear Community College.  All other inquiries should be directed to Cape Fear Community College at 910-362-7000.

The US Secretary of Education recognizes accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in establishing the eligibility of higher education institutions to participate in federal funding. Accreditation is of critical importance because it allows us to provide federal financial aid to our students, receive federal funding, have our degrees recognized as coming from an accredited institution and be able to articulate our courses with other colleges and universities.

CFCC was initially accredited in 1971 by SACSCOC and was reaffirmed for accreditation in 2007.  Accreditation by SACSCOC signifies that an institution meets standards established by the higher education community that address the needs of society and students, has a purpose appropriate to higher education and has the resources, programs and services sufficient to accomplish its purpose on a continuing basis. Accreditation evaluates whether an institution maintains clearly specified educational objectives consistent with its mission and whether it is successful in achieving its stated objectives. The Commission has been a leader in defining and implementing the concept of “institutional effectiveness” in higher education and is known for having stringent requirements for membership.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is one of six private, nonprofit, regional accrediting associations recognized by the Department of Education. SACSCOC was founded in 1895 for the purpose of improving education in colleges and schools. SACSCOC accredits institutions of higher education in eleven southern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) and Latin America that award associate, Baccalaureate, masters or doctoral degrees.

The Commission on Colleges accredits institutions based on requirements published in its Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement. The Principles of Accreditation is designed to guide institutions in all stages of membership, from application through initial accreditation and reaffirmation of accreditation. The process for initial and continued accreditation begins with an internal review by a college. At the culmination of the internal review, peers external to the college assess the institution’s compliance with the accreditation requirements and efforts to enhance the quality of its programs and services. Following the peer review, elected Commission on Colleges representatives make the final determination of a college’s accreditation status.

For a copy of the Principles of Accreditation: Foundation for Quality Enhancement or for more information about the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and accreditation, please visit the SACSCOC web site at

Overview of 2017 Reaffirmation of Accreditation Process