Texas A&M University-Central Texas was officially granted accredited member status from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The university worked to gain accreditation separate from its former parent university, Tarleton State University, for the last four years. Prior to Thursday’s announcement, the university was accredited under Tarleton.

“This is an exceptional accomplishment for an institution barely four years old,” said Marc Nigliazzo, the university’s president. “It is, as well, a testament to the quality of faculty and staff who have come together to build a university that will serve Central Texas students for decades to come.”

A&M-Central Texas became a stand-alone university on May 27, 2009, as a member of the Texas A&M University System. The application process included a thorough review of the university’s operations and on-site visits from commission representatives.

Now that it is accredited as a stand-alone university, A&M-Central Texas will be able expand its programs and course offerings, and address the region’s upper-level education needs.

“The separate accreditation gives us more flexibility,” said Randy McCauley, a spokesman for the university.

While the university has not stated what new programs or degrees it plans to add, McCauley said areas such as nursing, health care and bioscience were possibilities.

The announcement was not only good news for A&M-Central Texas. Thomas Klincar, chancellor of Central Texas College, said the accreditation would further cooperation between the two entities, and make it easier for CTC students to transfer to A&M-Central Texas to complete four-year and advanced degrees.

“It means that the courses they take here will be accepted at A&M-Central Texas,” Klincar said. “It improves educational opportunities for our students, and for the community.”

The announcement comes after a series of important firsts for A&M-Central Texas, including naming Nigliazzo as inaugural president and the opening of the Founder’s Hall building on the university’s campus. Its second building on campus is set to open in fall 2014.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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