The goal of accreditation is to ensure that institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality.
Some Important Functions of Accreditation
- Assess the quality of academic programs at institutions of higher education
- Create a culture of continuous improvement of academic quality at colleges and universities
- Involve faculty and staff comprehensively in institutional evaluation and planning
- Establish criteria for professional certification and licensure and for upgrading courses offering such preparation
(From the U.S. Department of Education)
Accreditation is not only valuable because it signals quality assurance; it also matters in other important ways:
- The federal government requires that a college, university, or program be accredited in order to be eligible to award students federal grants and loans of other federal funds.
- State governments require that a college, university, or program be accredited when they make state funds available to students or institutions and when they allow students to sit for state licensure examinations in some professional fields.
- Accreditation also aids students as they move between colleges and universities by easing the transfer of academic credits.
- Employers may ask if a college, university, or program is accredited before decided to provide tuition assistance to current employees, when evaluating the credentials of new employees, or when making a charitable contribution.