What is accreditation for institutions and programs?
Accreditation is the recognition from an accrediting agency that an institution maintains a certain level of educational standards.
Accreditation is a quality assurance process that colleges, universities, and educational institutions or programs undergo to confirm that they meet a strict and recognized set of service and operational standards.
Accreditation is assessed by private, nongovernmental accrediting agencies that have been created specifically to review education institutions and programs.
In most countries, accreditation is voluntary. Institutions do not need accreditation in order to open their doors or offer educational programs. This is an important distinction you need to make if seeking an institution. If you want to avoid degree programs that have been denied or have opted out of accreditation, it’s up to you to research these facts.
What is the importance of accreditation?
The importance of accreditation is that it creates a set of quality standards for all education institutions or programs, provides access to governmental and state funding, maintains private sector confidence, and makes transferring credits easier. Furthermore, accreditation aims to ensure the accountability of institutes and degree programs which boosts public trust and confidence. When an institution or degree program is properly accredited, you can gauge its overall quality without having to conduct a detailed analysis on your own.
Types of accreditation
For different educational institutions or programs, there are specific types of accreditation. Some of the kinds of higher education institutions that can be accredited include:
- Public and private universities, colleges, institutions, and schools.
- For-profit and Nonprofit universities, colleges, institutions, and schools.
- Single-purpose institutions.
- Private career training institutions.
- Distance learning universities, colleges, institutions, and schools.
- Professions education programs.
The accreditation process
A college, university, or educational institution must take several steps to gain accreditation. Knowing how to earn their accreditation can help you understand why verifying accreditation can be an important factor in choosing an educational institution.
- Peer Review
Once formal paperwork has been submitted to the AKAP Accreditation Organization, administrative and faculty peers conduct an intensive review of the prepared materials, the written report, and the general workings of the college, university, or institution seeking accreditation status.
- Visit and Examination
After the peer review has been completed, the AKAP Accreditation organization sends a team of professionals to visit the college, university, or institution seeking accreditation status. This team is often made up of experts and assessors.
- A Decision Is Reached
After the previous steps are completed, the AKAP Accreditation Organization calls upon its decision committee to review the collected information and affirm or deny accreditation status for the college, university, or institution under scrutiny.
- Continuous Review
By accepting accreditation status from the AKAP Accreditation Organization, a college, university, or other institution, agrees to uphold the quality standards set by the accreditation organization. The accredited college, university, or institution also agrees to periodically submit to an accreditation renewal review.