The mission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the improvement of education in the South through accreditation.

Institutions seeking to gain or retain accreditation by AdvancED must meet AdvancED Standards. Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools, and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational Standards. Today the accreditation process is used at all levels of education, and is recognized for its ability to effectively drive student performance and continuous improvement in education.

The accreditation process is based on a five-year term accreditation. It is an ongoing process of meeting Standards, engaging in continuous improvement, and demonstrating quality assurance.

Accredited systems understand and honor the concept of continuous improvement. They are dynamic, in motion, and continuously evolving with an unrelenting focus on becoming better on behalf of the students they serve. Quality systems operate as learning communities by possessing healthy cultures where individuals collectively analyze practices and results, engage in professional learning and dialogue, take meaningful action, and assume responsibility for results.