Accreditation

There are two kinds of accreditation: institutional (college and university accreditation) and program accreditation. Accreditation is an assurance of quality in terms of the curriculum and instruction you will receive.

Information is provided below on accreditation but you can also visit the website for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, download and review their Overview of U.S. Accreditation booklet, and their Directory of CHEA-Recognized Organizations which is updated each academic year.

Institutional Accreditation

Many schools and some universities will claim to be accredited and some even claim to have national accreditation; however, only regional accrediting associations are recognized throughout the U.S. as having curriculum and instruction at acceptable levels of educational quality. Accreditation is determined on the basis of a rigorous set of criteria established by peers and reviewed on a regular basis by the accrediting board. Be sure that the institution you want to attend is accredited by one of these six U.S. regional accrediting associations:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, NEASC-CIHE
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, MSA
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, NCA
  • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, NASC
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SACS-CC
  • Western Association of School and Colleges, WASC-Sr

Professional Accreditation

In the U.S. there is an additional type of accreditation—professional accreditation by Program area. Most academic programs in the humanities, sciences, some social sciences, and other disciplines do not use Program accreditation to guarantee quality; however, there are some disciplines in which professional accreditation is a guarantee of a quality Program. Listed below are selected professional accrediting bodies for applied professional programs:

  • Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
  • Accrediting Commission on Education for Health Service Administration
  • Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
  • American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • American Bar Association
  • American Library Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • Association of American Law Schools
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Council on Rehabilitation Education
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Planning Accreditation Board