Accreditation for Colleges and Universities

When it comes to getting an education, there are so many choices and options. Sometimes this can be overwhelming. To help you narrow down your school choices, you should make sure that the college or university you wish to attend is accredited. Attending an accredited school ensures that your degree will be recognized by most employers and other institutions.Accreditation is given to institutions that meet the standards that are set by a peer review board. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) board is compiled of faculty members from other colleges and universities. This board looks at the college’s classes, their mission, services that are available to students, the quality of the education as well as the reputation of the faculty and staff, and the schools admission requirements. There are a couple different types of accreditation that this groups awards.The two types of accreditation are institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation is granted after the board reviews the organization or school as a whole. It is granted by national and regional associations: Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern, and Western. Each regional association works independent from the other, but recognized the accreditation status given by each association. Each association looks at the school’s administration, financial stability, student learning, the effectiveness of the institution, internal and external relations, and admission and student services. If a school possesses all of the proper requirements and at the set standards of the association, they are then given institutional accreditation.Programmatic accreditation is granted by specialized agencies. Each of these agencies is specialized in a specific topic or subject and grant accreditation to programs in that same subject or topic, or if a school only teaches that one topic, they can grant the school as well. These agencies are backed by the U.S. Secretary of Education or the CHEA, if a program is given accreditation by an agency that isn’t backed by either of these, that it is not a real accreditation.An organization that claims to accredited colleges, universities, or degree programs that isn’t backed by the CHEA or the U.S. Secretary of Education, they are considered to be an Accreditation mill. Whenever they approve an institution, it has no legal standing and will not be recognized by other institutions, or employers. It is important not to get a degree from a college or program that received their accreditation through one of these fake agencies, if you do, chances are you will not be able to get a job after graduating, you will not be able to transfer schools with those credits, and if you plan to attend graduate school, your bachelor’s degree will not be recognized.It isn’t hard to find a college or degree program that is accredited. CHEA offers public information regarding what schools are accredited. There are also many online colleges and programs that have been approved. Now it is easier than ever to get an education even if you have been out of school for a while. If you decide to go back to school and have a busy lifestyle, you can always get a degree from and accredited online college and earn your degree on your own time.

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