Sherman Chiropractic College Placed on Probation

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

In June 2008, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) placed Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic on probation. In December 2007, Sherman was placed on "warning status" with the following explanation:

Commission on Colleges
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Questions Regarding the Status of
SHERMAN COLLEGE OF STRAIGHT CHIROPRACTIC
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Issued December 20, 2007, by the Commission on Colleges

The following publicly available information is provided by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Inc., concerning the accreditation of Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic. Information presented below is in accord with the Commission’s disclosure policy; staff of the Commission cannot comment further on questions specifically related to Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic. The institution has reviewed this statement prior to public posting.

The Commission on Colleges’ action on Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic took place on December 10, 2007, and the institution’s next review is June 2008.

What is the accreditation status of Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic? Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic is accredited by the Commission on Colleges; however, the institution was denied reaffirmation and placed on Warning for six months. The Commission’s accreditation includes all components of the institution—all programs, branch campuses, off-campus sites, and distance learning programs as reported to the Commission; thus, the Warning status applies to the entire institution. Prior to the institution’s next review by the Commission in June 2008, a Special Committee will conduct an on-site evaluation of its compliance with the Principles of Accreditation—the accreditation standards of the Commission.

What does Warning mean? Warning is a public sanction imposed by the Commission on Colleges following determination of significant non-compliance with the Core Requirements or the Comprehensive Standards of the Principles of Accreditation of the Commission, failure to make timely and significant progress toward correcting the deficiencies that led to the finding of non-compliance, or failure to comply with Commission policies and procedures. The maximum total time during one monitoring period that an institution may be on Warning is two years. For additional information about sanctions, see the Commission’s policy entitled “Sanctions, Denial of Reaffirmation, and Removal from Membership.

Why was Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic denied reaffirmation of accreditation and placed on Warning? Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic was denied reaffirmation of accreditation and placed on Warning because the Commission determined that it failed to demonstrate compliance with Core Requirement 2.12 (Quality Enhancement Plan) of the Principles of Accreditationthe accreditation standards of the Commission. This standard expects an accredited institution to provide evidence that it has developed an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan. . . .

What will happen in June 2008? The Commission will again consider the accreditation status of Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic following review of a First Monitoring Report submitted by the institution addressing the area cited for non-compliance and the report of a Special Committee authorized to examine additional alleged non- compliance with the Principles of Accreditation. The Commission will have the following options: (1) reaffirm accreditation and remove the institution from Warning with or without an additional report; (2) deny reaffirmation of accreditation, continue accreditation, continue Warning and request an additional report; (3) deny reaffirmation of accreditation, continue accreditation, place the institution on Probation, authorize a Special Committee, and request an additional report; or (4) remove the institution from membership with the Commission on Colleges. . . . Commission staff will not speculate on what decision might be made by the Commission in June 2008. . . .

In June 2008, SACS extended the probationary period and gave the following reasons for its actions:

Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic was denied reaffirmation of accreditation and placed on Probation because the Commission determined that it failed to demonstrate compliance with Principle 1.1 (Integrity), Core Requirement 2.2 (Governing Board); Core Requirement 2.12 (Quality Enhancement Plan); Comprehensive Standard 3.2.4 (External Influence); Comprehensive Standard 3.2.8 (Qualified Administrative/Academic Officers); Comprehensive Standard 3.7.4 (Academic Freedom); and Federal Requirement 4.5 (Student Complaints) of the Principles. Principle 1.1 expects an institution to operate with integrity in all matters. The cited Core Requirements expect an accredited institution to provide evidence that it (1) has a governing board that is ultimately responsible for ensuring a sound educational program and (2) is not controlled by a minority of the board and has an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan. The cited Comprehensive Standards expect an accredited institution to have a governing board free from undue influence, to have qualified administrative and academic officers, and to ensure adequate procedures for protecting academic freedom. The cited Federal Requirement expects adequate procedures for addressing written student complaints.

In June 2009, after another review. Sherman was removed from probation. I have found no further details online.

Sherman is the most subluxation-based of the U.S. chiropractic schools. It also received a warning in 2002 but was able to return to compliance.

This page was revised on July 8, 2009.

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