TCU’s Purple Passport program must be more developed before reaccreditation can occur

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    TCU’s reaccreditation process hit a snag this week when the team reviewing the university's performance said it needed more details about the Purple Passport program.

    Every ten years, the university must renew its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to keep the university eligible for federal funds including the Pell Grant.

    Purple Passport, which launched in February, is the university's quality enhancement plan to improve the quality of students experience and to create learning opportunities. The plan is meant to fulfill one of 98 SACS standards the university must meet.

    "They said 'This is a big plan to transform your campus, but we need more more detail,'" Chancellor Victor Boschini said.

    If the university does not show that Purple Passport is adequately developed by the last week in August, it could be put on probation when SACS holds its general meeting in December.

    This would not affect students' Pell Grants or the university's daily activities, said Catherine Wehlburg, assistant provost of institutional effectiveness and member of the university's SACS leadership team. But it would mean that the university was not compliant with SACS standards.

    The committee told the university it wanted to see a more detailed budget and a better description of the Purple Passport leadership position's responsibilities, Boschini said.

    The university won't know exactly what the committee wants until it receives the official recommendation letter in a few weeks, said Edward McNertney, director of the TCU Core Curriculum and member of the university's SACS leadership team.

    "It's nothing we can't fix, we are just a little unsure right now," he said.

    The committee also wanted more information on faculties' research and the degrees of each teaching professor to make sure instructors are qualified to teach their courses, Boschini said.

    Boschini said the university will be working on tailoring the Purple Passport program to comply with SACS standards.

    "You don't have a choice if you want to remain accredited, you have to meet their deadlines," he said.

    This story was updated on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 10:48 p.m.