Previous Chapter Chapter 11: Accreditation

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Most colleges and universities in the United States are accredited by one of the country's eight regional accrediting commissions. In addition, specific programs within these institutions are accredited by national professional associations such as those for engineering, medicine, law, business, education, psychology, and social work. Both institutional accreditation and specialized accreditation are voluntary and have two fundamental purposes: quality assurance and institutional/program improvement. Accrediting bodies evaluate more than formal educational activities; they also assess such characteristics as governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student personnel services, institutional resources, student academic achievement, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with constituencies outside the institution. In other words, as we discussed in Chapter 10, evaluators focus on inputs, processes, and outcomes for the institution as a whole.

Although the ...

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