Accreditation and Approvals

South College Authorization

South College is authorized for operation as a postsecondary education institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. In order to view detailed job placement and graduation information on the programs offered by South College, please visit www.tn.gov/thec/ and click on the Authorized Institutions Data button.

South College is authorized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to confer Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of Education, Master of Science, Master of Health Science, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Associate of Science degrees, as well as various certificate level programs. This authorization must be renewed each year and is based on an evaluation of minimum standards concerning quality of education, ethical business practices, health and safety, and fiscal responsibility. South College is approved for the training of veterans and other eligible beneficiaries by the Tennessee Division of Veterans Education.

South College seeks to make available all online programs/courses to residents of Tennessee and other states, and to allow completion of required clinical or practica experiences in those states.  We work through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) process and with states directly to ensure that when authorization or licensure is necessary, required approvals are secured. Tennessee is a member of SARA and South College is an approved SARA institution. As such, we adhere to a set of national standards for interstate offering of post-secondary distance education courses and programs.  SARA also covers all interstate placements in clinical or practica situations among SARA member states, no matter the nature of the main program.  However, not all states are SARA members.  While we do monitor the laws in each state, authorization of distance education is a dynamic environment and prospective students should check this site often for updates. Please click here for current information for authorization information for all states.  It is the student’s responsibility to understand current circumstances or special requirements in their state of residence. 

South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees at the doctorate, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate levels. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of South College.

Programmatic Accreditation and Approvals Information 

Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

The South College Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography(Knoxville) – General program was granted the initial five-year accreditation award on July 16, 2015 by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) 25400 US Highway 19 North Suite 158, Clearwater, Florida 33763 , www.caahep.orgThe next review is anticipated for 2020. 

Bachelor of Science in Teacher Education - Elementary (K-6)
Master of Education in Elementary Education (K-6) Initial Licensure

The South College Bachelor of Science in Teacher Education – Elementary (K-6) program was reviewed in November 2011.  Full approval was granted by the Tennessee Department of Education for the maximum of seven years (anticipate next review in Fall 2018).  The Master of Education program received Conditional Approval upon implementation and will be reviewed during the next cycle in conjunction with the Bachelor of Science program.

Associate of Science in Medical Assisting 

The South College Certificate in Medical Assisting program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (www.caahep.org) based upon the recommendation of Medical Assisting Education Review Board (MAERB).  Reaccreditation affirmation was awarded in September 2014 for a period not to exceed ten years.

Students completing the certificate program may choose to continue for an addition 2 to 3 quarters and pursue the AS in Medical Assisting program.

Certificate in Nuclear Medicine

The South College Certificate in Nuclear Medicine program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT) (2000 W. Danforth Rd, Ste. 130, #203 Edmond, OK 73003, (405) 285-0546, www.jrcnmt.org). In April 2014, the program was awarded a continued accreditation for a period of eight years. The next review is tentatively scheduled for 2019, with a mid-cycle report submitted in February 2016.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The South College Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the Parkside (Knoxville) Learning Site received initial approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing in 2003, with full approval granted in September 2008. The program was last reviewed in 2014, with full approval continued. The BSN program at the Asheville Learning Site received initial approval from the North Carolina Board of Nursing in February 2016. The BSN program at the Nashville Learning Site received approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing in November 2016.

The BSN program at the Parkside (Knoxville) Learning Site was granted continuing accreditation in 2011 by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, (404) 975-5000, http://www.acenursing.org/) for a period of eight years. The next review is anticipated in 2019. The ACEN approved the Substantive Changes report regarding the addition of the BSN program at the Nashville Learning Site in January 2017; a Focused Visit is to be conducted in the fall of 2017.

The baccalaureate degree in nursing program at South College is pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http:www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation). Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

Master of Science in Nursing

The South College Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with Concentration in Nurses Executive received initial approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing in November 2016.

The master’s degree in nursing program at South College is pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http:www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation). Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

Certificate in Paralegal Studies
Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies

The American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Paralegals (321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654-4778, www.americanbar.org) last approved the South College Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies and the Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies programs in December 2008 for a maximum of seven years. The Certificate option was included in the approval upon implementation. The next review is anticipated in 2015-2016. 

Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant

The South College Associate of Science in Physical Therapist Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) (1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, (703) 706-3245, www.capteonline.org). The last review was conducted in 2013 with reaccreditation granted through 2023.

Associate of Science in Radiography

The South College Associate of Science in Radiography program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) (20 N. Wacker Drive, Ste. 2850, Chicago, IL 60606-3182, (312) 704-5300, www.jrcert.org).  In October 2008, the program was awarded continued accreditation for a period of eight years.  In October 2013, maintenance of the accreditation for a period of eight years was awarded based on a review of a submitted interim report.  The next review is anticipated in 2016. 

Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies

In September 2012, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) (12000 Findley Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek, GA 30097, (770) 476-1224, www.arc-pa.org) granted the South College Physician Assistant Studies program Accreditation-Continued. The approximate date for the next review is September 2017.

Doctor of Pharmacy

The South College Doctor of Pharmacy program has been granted Accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (135 South LaSalle Street, Suite 4100, Chicago, IL 60603-4810, (312) 644-3575, website www.acpe-accredit.org.

Doctor of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program at South College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone: 703-706-3245; email: accreditation@apta.org; website: http://www.capteonline.org.

The college is a member of the following professional organizations:

  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • American Association for Paralegal Education
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education
  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • American Association of Medical Assistants Endowment
  • American Society of Criminology
  • Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities
  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Educause
  • Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership
  • Knoxville Area Health Science Library Consortium
  • National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc.
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
  • National League for Nursing
  • Physician Assistant Educational Association
  • Smoky Mountain Paralegal Association
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • Tennessee Academy of Physican Assistants
  • Tennessee Association of Higher Education and Disability
  • Tennessee Association of Independent Colleges and Schools
  • Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • Tennessee Association of Colleges of Teacher Education
  • Tennessee Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges of TeacherEducation
  • TENN-SHARE