Accreditation: What is it?

Accreditation: What is it?

Chances are, you’ve never considered whether or not your school is accredited.  But what isaccreditation and how does a school get accredited?

If you Google the word accreditation, it is defined as “the action or process of officially recognizing someone as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity; an acknowledgement of a person’s responsibility for or achievement of something.”  In a nutshell, accredited schools have been externally reviewed by a team of education professionals against a strict set of criteria aimed to improve accountability and quality.  These standards include a variety of categories and evolve to ensure they are current with best-practice methods and research.  The accreditation process is not a ‘one and done’ event, either.  These reviews happen every few years to ensure schools are adhering to the standards and also continuously improving.  In exchange, schools can retain the status of being accredited.

As a brief side note, there are four main accrediting agencies in the United States:

  • AdvancED
    • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools – 19 States
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – 11 States
    • Northwest Accreditation Commission – 7 States (our accreditation)
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools – 5 States
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges – 6 States
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges – 2 States

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Do you have any questions about accreditation?  Any comments?

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