Bureau of Academic Accreditation
The Importance of Accreditation
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary activity initiated by the institution that requires a rigorous self-evaluation and an independent, objective appraisal of the overall educational quality by peers as well as an accreditation firm. Accreditation emphasizes quality assurance and a commitment to continuous quality enhancement. To achieve accreditation an educational institution must:
Adhere to to Federal and State guidelines (if receiving public funds)
If judged to be in compliance with established standards, an accreditation status may be granted for a specific period, ranging from three to eight years.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation is important because it:
- Helps determine if an institution meets or exceeds minimum standards of quality.
- Helps students determine acceptable institutions for enrollment.
- Assists institutions in determining acceptability of transfer credits. Read more about the transfer of credits.
- Helps employers determine the validity of programs of study and whether a graduate is qualified. Employers often require evidence that applicants have received a degree from an accredited school or program.
- Helps employers determine eligibility for employee tuition reimbursement programs.
- Enables graduates to sit for certification examinations.
- Involves staff, faculty, students, graduates, and advisory boards in institutional evaluation and planning.
- Creates goals for institutional self-improvement.
- Provides a self-regulatory alternative for state oversight functions.
- Provides a basis for determining eligibility for federal student assistance. Students must attend an accredited institution to apply for federal grants or loans.