Cumberland University has been continuously chartered by the State of Tennessee to confer degrees since 1842.
Cumberland University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Cumberland University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling 404-679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).
Additional Accreditation and Approvals
- The Tennessee State Department of Education has approved Cumberland University to offer certain programs for specific teacher licenses and for Beginning and Aspiring Instructional Leadership licenses. Visit the Tennessee Department of Education website (www.tn.gov/education) for a listing of approved programs and endorsements offered through Cumberland University.
- The baccalaureate and master’s programs in nursing are approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing (665 Mainstream Dr, 2nd Floor, Nashville, TN 37243; 615-532-5166).
- The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master’s degree program in nursing at Cumberland University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.
- The Athletic Training (AT) program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), located at 6850 Austin Center Blvd., Ste. 100, Austin, TX 78737-3184 (phone 844-462-2283).
- The Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP) in its associate, baccalaureate, and graduate business programs (11520 West 119th Street, Overland Park, KS 66213; 913-339-9356).
Cumberland University has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). (NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.)
Institutional Obligations for Public Disclosure
Cumberland University adheres to the SACSCOC policy on Institutional Obligations for Public Disclosure (approved by SACSCOC Board of Trustees, June 2014 and revised September 2020). The policy states, “A candidate or accredited SACSCOC institution is obligated to provide information to its students, constituents, and the public about itself that is complete, accurate, timely, accessible, clear, and sufficient.” The policy includes the specific requirements listed below.
Educational Programs and CIP Codes
Requirement 1: "The institution's current catalog describes the institution consistent with its mission statement and sets forth the obligations and responsibilities of both students and the institution. Institutions relying on electronic catalogues ensure the availability of archival editions sufficient to serve the needs of alumni and former and returning students."
University Response: Cumberland University’s Catalog describes the University consistent with its mission statement, “the mission of Cumberland University is to provide a contemporary liberal arts education to students seeking a high-quality, personalized college experience, which will empower them not only to have a successful and productive career, but also to thrive intellectually, professionally, personally, and spiritually for a lifetime.” (Adopted October 2016) The Catalog provides students with the following information:
- Programs of Study
- General Information
- Admissions/Enrollment Services
- Financial Services
- Student Development
- The Doris and Harry Vise Library
- Academic Affairs
- Edward A. Labry School of Science, Technology, and Business
- The Jeannette Cantrell Rudy School of Nursing & Health Professions
- School of Humanities, Education, and the Arts
- Intercollegiate Athletics
- Administration, Faculty and Staff
Archived electronic Catalogs are available on the University website at: http://cumberland.smartcatalogiq.com/en. Paper copies of Catalogs are kept in the office of the University Registrar.
Requirement 2: "All forms of print and electronic communications officially representing the institution are consistent with catalog content and accurately portray the conditions and opportunities available at the institution."
University Response: The University Catalog serves as the official document to provide content for all print and website communications. The Catalog, policies and procedures, printed publications, recruiting material, web content, newsletters, social media sources, and other University communications are designed in collaboration with multiple offices/units to ensure that the design and content is consistent with University messages. These offices include, but are not limited to, the Office of Communication and Marketing, the Office of Community Relations and External Affairs, the Office of Advancement, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Athletics, the President’s office, the Office of Admissions, and the Office of Financial Aid.
The University’s website and web pages depict and portray the University’s campus life, academic opportunities, athletic programs, and community engagement. The Office of Marketing and Communication ensures the integration and deployment of the University’s marketing plan.
Requirement 3: "The institution publishes the locations and programs available at branch campuses, and other off-campus instructional locations, including those overseas operations at which students can enroll for a degree, along with a description of the programs and services available at each location."
University Response: Cumberland University offers programs and coursework predominantly on the main campus in Lebanon Selected coursework in the Master of Public Service Management program (MSP) is offered in the community rooms at two police precincts in Nashville. The Rudy School of Nursing and Health Professions is located less than 1.5 miles from the main campus at McFarland Hall. Coursework in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), the Master of Science in Athletic Training (MSAT), both the Bachelor of Science (BS) and the Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Science (MSES), and both the Bachelor of Science (BS) and the Master of Arts in Sport Management (MASM) are taught at McFarland.
Cumberland University offers dual enrollment coursework on the main campus in Lebanon and at several high schools. Classes are offered at Wilson Central High School, Watertown High School, STEM Preparatory Academy, and Friendship Christian School. Cumberland University also provides dual enrollment courses for Lebanon High School and Mt. Juliet High School, but the classes are taught on the Cumberland campus.
All students, regardless of location, are eligible to receive student support services in, but not limited to, counseling, disability services, the library, academic advising, career planning, and tutoring/academic support, and those services can be accessed via the website here. Questions about these services can be directed to the Dean of Students or to the Office of Academic Affairs.
The University offers no overseas programs.
Requirement 4: "The institution publishes statements of its goals for student achievement and the success of students in achieving those goals. Information on student success may include reliable information in retention, graduation, course completion, licensure examinations, and job placement rates and other measures of student success appropriate to institutional mission."
University Response: Cumberland University provides a wealth of data relative to student achievement and student success. A sample of the available data is listed below. Please click on the link to see the full report.
- Student Achievement data that includes
- Freshman to Sophomore Retention Rates
- Graduation Rates
- Number of Degrees Conferred
- Full Time Equivalent (FTE) enrollment
- Course Completion Rates
- Licensure exam success (NCLEX, Praxis, etc.)
- Career Placement Rates
- Student Achievement data that includes
Requirement 5: "The institution has readily available valid documentation for any statements and promises regarding such matters as program excellence, learning outcomes, success in placement, and achievements of graduates or faculty."
University Response: Cumberland University maintains assessment information for all of its academic programs related to program excellence, student learning outcomes, and graduate/professional school and career placement. This data is collected from academic Program Directors each academic year/cycle by the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and reviewed by the Academic Assessment Committee. Test scores related to student learning outcomes are available from the individual Program Directors, and scores and pass rates on national standardized exams can be accessed directly from the testing companies (NCLEX-Nursing, ETS Praxis-Education, Board of Certification-Athletic Training, Peregrine-Business, ETS Major Field Tests-Various, ACAT examinations-Various, etc.). Additional career and graduate/professional school placement data is collected by the Director of Career Services and Internships via a survey of graduates each year prior to commencement exercises in May and is reported with our Student Achievement data above.
Faculty, staff, and student achievements are highlighted on the university website (Faculty, Staff, and student achievements) and on social media outlets, which are updated regularly. Additional faculty achievements can be found in their biographies on the Directory pages of the university website as well as on their curricula vitae (CV), updated annually and collected by the administrative assistant of each academic school. The Academic Affairs Office also published a Faculty Snapshots booklet in Fall 2021.
The Alumni Relations office further collects information on accomplishments of graduates via our website and various outreach opportunities and alumni events. Additional information is available on the alumni webpage.
In addition to the above information, a policy report from the Postsecondary Education Research Center at the University of Tennessee Knoxville entitled “Pathways to Success: How Cumberland University Increases College Access, Retention and Completion through Tennessee Promise, 2015-2018” is also available. Please click on the following link to see the full report. https://perc.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2019/03/RPT-CU-TN-Prom-02.19.pdf
Requirement 6: “The institution is expected (1) to be accurate in reporting to the public its status with SACSCOC and (2) to publish the name of its primary accreditor and its contact information in accordance with federal requirements.”
University Response: Cumberland University has crafted statements about current accreditation status explicitly as required by the Principles of Accreditation of SACSCOC, according to federal requirements, and per the standards of other accreditation requirements. The main locations for these accreditation statements are the University website and the University Catalog.