History of Institutional Accreditation

Through Legislative Act 1244, on July 1, 1991, Pines Vocational Technical School became Pines Technical School (name changed July 8, 1998, to Southeast Arkansas College). In 1991, Southeast Arkansas College as part of the state’s higher education community and became a member of the Arkansas Community College and Technical College System. As a provision of the legislative act, all newly formed community and technical colleges were required to achieve North Central Association accreditation within 5 years.

SEARK College’s initial visit of October 1993 resulted in a recommendation of “Candidate for Accreditation”. In October 1995 the College underwent an on-site evaluation for initial accreditation. On February 23, 1996, after an extensive self-study and site visit by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC), it was determined that the College met all of the required criteria. SEARK College was then awarded full accreditation status. This accreditation status has been maintained and the last action taken by the HLC was on March 2003 reaffirming full accreditation. The next scheduled comprehensive evaluation by the HLC was scheduled for 2010-2011.

SEARK Accreditation Timeline


Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP)

Southeast Arkansas College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. In July 2007 the SEARK College was accepted as an Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) institution. Membership in AQIP is an alternative process through which an already-accredited institution can maintain its accreditation through the HLC.

The College submitted its first Systems Portfolio to AQIP in May, 2011 and received the AQIP Systems Feedback Report in September 2011. The College hosted its Quality Checkup Visit September 19 -21, 2012. At the December 19, 2012, meeting of the Higher Learning Commission’s Institutional Actions Council (IAC), the College’s case for reaffirmation was reviewed. This follows our AQIP Quality Checkup (QC) Visit which was conducted September 19-21, 2012. Thanks to our collective efforts, the College continues to be in compliance with each of the Five (5) Criteria for Accreditation and each of their Core Components and Title IV Program responsibilities.


ACTION: “The IAC concurred with the evaluation findings and voted to continue the accreditation of Southeast Arkansas College with the next reaffirmation of accreditation in 2019-20.”


The current accreditation status and organizational profile are documented in the Statement of Affiliation Status (SAS).

As an AQIP institution, SEARK College incorporates the principles and benefits of continuous improvement into its culture and daily operations. AQIP allows the College to demonstrate that it continues to meets HLC accreditation standards and expectations through sequences of projects and events that align with those ongoing activities. This alignment characterizes organizations that continually strive to improve their performance.