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College Accreditation Accrediting Agencies

Why should you be concerned with College Accreditation?

The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency.

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What is the Best College?

The critical issue is the schools accreditation. When choosing a college or university make sure the institution has a regional accreditation. With a regional accreditation, you can be assured the coursework and degree you complete will be recognized by all other colleges and universities as well as employers.

College Accreditation Accrediting Agencies: Why should you be Concerned with College Accreditation?Accreditation means the status of public recognition that an accrediting agency grants to an educational institution or program that meets the agency's standards and requirements.

Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency. Why should you be concerned with accreditation? It's not only one way of helping to judge the quality of a program, but it can also impact your employment prospects later on.

Finding Detailed Information on College Accreditation

Accreditation is a complex subject. Two of the best places to learn more about accreditation is at the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, a nonprofit membership organization of higher education colleges and institutions, which serves as a national advocate for voluntary self-regulation through accreditation.

These sites will provides you with an overview of accreditation in the United States along with links to more detailed criteria and state agency information.

The Major National U.S. Accrediting Agencies for colleges and schools include...

Key regional accrediting agencies include...

There are six geographic regions of the United States with an agency that accredits college and university higher education programs:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools - Commission on Higher Education ...institutions of higher education in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including distance education programs offered at those institutions.
  • New England Association of Schools & Colleges - Commission on Institutions of Higher Education ...institutions of higher education in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont that award bachelor's, master's, and/or doctoral degrees and associate degree-granting institutions in those states that include degrees in liberal arts or general studies among their offerings, including the accreditation of programs offered via distance education within these institutions. This recognition extends to the Board of Trustees of the Association jointly with the Commission for decisions involving pre-accreditation, initial accreditation, and adverse actions.
  • North Central Association of Colleges & Schools - Higher Learning Commission ...degree-granting institutions of higher education in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, including schools of the Navajo Nation and the accreditation of such programs offered via distance education within these institutions.
  • Northwest Commission on Schools & Colleges - Commission on Institutions of Higher Education ... postsecondary educational institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington and the accreditation of such programs offered via distance education within these institutions.
  • Southern Association of Colleges & Schools - Commission on Colleges ...degree-granting institutions of higher education in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, including distance education programs offered at those institutions.
  • Western Association of Schools & Colleges ... adult and postsecondary schools that offer programs below the degree level in California, Hawaii, the United States territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern
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