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Benefits of Accreditation

WAYS IN WHICH ACCREDITATION SERVES STUDENTS, SOCIETY AND THE PUBLIC INTEREST

“Accreditation” is the primary means of assuring and improving the quality of higher education institutions and programs in the United States. Active for the past 100 years, this private, voluntary system of self-examination and peer review has been central to the creation of a U.S. higher education enterprise that is outstanding in many respects.

Accreditation Is:

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The primary public symbol of legitimate higher education for over 100 years

  • A key litmus test of threshold academic quality
  • Approximately 7,600 higher education institutions and more than 23,500 programs accredited as of 2017
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The primary “reliable authority” for federal and state governments funding for higher education

  • Accreditation required for student access to federal and state grants and loans, now $170 billion annually
  • Accreditation required for institution and program access to other federal funds for research and programs or funds for operating in some states
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The primary reliable authority for private sector financial support for higher education

  • Accreditation required to obtain private foundation support for higher education
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A major source of protection against fraud and abuse for students and consumers

  • Primary barrier against degree mills, accreditation mills and visa mills
  • Maintain standards that hold institutions and programs accountable for the integrity of their work with students and the information they provide the public
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Successful in encouraging major innovation while maintaining quality over the years, which include:

  • The development of community colleges
  • The advent of online learning, schools, programs and classes
  • The growth of for-profit higher education
  • The emergence of innovative non-institutional providers
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Central to states carrying out licensure of the professions

  • Many states require that professional programs be accredited and require that individuals who sit for licensure examinations in various professions graduate from accredited programs
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Essential to international mobility

  • Vital to international students, governments and higher education institutions for judgments about transfer of credit, recognition of qualifications and degrees, and judgments about entry to U.S. higher education from other countries
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Responsive to current climate of accountability and equipped to meet current challenges

  • Development of student learning outcomes
  • Greater transparency about institutional and program performance
  • Improving transfer credit
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Vital to maintaining key features of higher education that have contributed to the enterprise as among the best in the world

  • A diverse array of institutions
  • A mission-based system
  • Responsible institutional independence for academic judgment
  • Responsible academic freedom

Accreditation is a highly successful and well-tested system of quality assurance and quality improvement.

 

Council for Higher Education Accreditation/CHEA International Quality Group                                                                                                One Dupont Circle, Suite 510                                                                                                                                                                        Washington, DC 20036

www.chea.org ● [email protected] ● P: 202 955 6126 ● F: 202 955 6129

Accessed Aug. 28, 2018 at https://www.chea.org/userfiles/PDFs/ten-ways-accreditation-serves.pdf