Academic journal article Planning for Higher Education

Introduction to Accreditation

Academic journal article Planning for Higher Education

Introduction to Accreditation

Article excerpt

AS MICHAEL MIDDAUGH (2012, p. 5) so clearly stated, "Accreditation is the lifeblood for most colleges and universities: without accreditation from an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, no Title IV federal financial aid can flow into an institution." According to the Federal Student Aid Annual Report FY2016, in 2016 nearly $126 billion in student aid was delivered to over 13 million students in higher education institutions throughout the country (U.S. Department of Education 2016). Without that aid, a significant number of institutions would be forced to close.

For those new to accreditation, the process can be as mystifying as it is critical to understand. The following questions and answers cover the basics of accreditation and suggest further resources for learning more.

1. WHAT IS ACCREDITATION?

Accreditation is a process by which an institution's programs, policies, and procedures are evaluated against a set of standards established by member institutions to ensure that they are of college-level content. Accreditation is a signal to the general public that the institution maintains the standards needed for students to gain admission to graduate programs and enter the world of work.

2.HOW OFTEN MUST AN INSTITUTION GO THROUGH THE PROCESS OF REAFFIRMING ITS ACCREDITATION?

The length of time between reaffirmation visits varies among the accrediting organizations and ranges from seven to ten years.

3.WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS BY WHICH A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY IS DEEMED TO BE A QUALITY INSTITUTION? …

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