Accreditation is the recognition by an official, independent, non-governmental review board that an educational institution (or specialized unit within an educational institution) meets the requirements and criteria it has established for itself.  There are two types of educational accreditation:  institutional and specialized.   Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire educational institution while specialized accreditation evaluates particular units, schools, or programs within an institution.

Why is Accreditation Important?

Accreditation affects every aspect of institutions of higher learning:  the ability of students to receive federal financial aid; the university’s successful recruitment and retention of the highest quality faculty; and the perceived value by graduates and potential employers of these graduates.   As such, accreditation provides public certification of acceptable institutional quality and an opportunity and incentive for institutions to engage in the self-evaluation and self-improvement processes.