“The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions and/or programs of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency’s evaluation and that meet an agency’s criteria are then “accredited” by that agency.” – U.S. Department of Education
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Value of Accreditation
While many academic agencies accredit particular programs of study, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is responsible for assuring that colleges and universities meet certain standards regarding their mission, educational operation, scholarly and creative activities, community service, and ethics.
The HLC ensures that the educational institution meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of education and the Criterion of Accreditation to authorize said institution to grant degrees at the level requested or evaluated.
- Accreditation is an assurance to the public that an institution is properly prepared to do its job.
- Accreditation is required in order to receive federal funds in higher education, including student financial aid.
- Accreditation assists with transfer of credits among institutions.