ACAE Accreditation Manual
Accreditation is a process for recognizing educational institutions and professional programs affiliated with those institutions for a level of performance, integrity, and quality which entitles them to the confidence of the educational community and the public they serve. In the United States, this recognition is extended primarily through nongovernmental, voluntary institutional or professional associations. These groups establish criteria for accreditation, arrange site visits, evaluate those institutions and professional programs which desire accredited status and publicly designate those which meet their criteria.
- Accreditation is about quality assurance and quality improvement.
- It is private (nongovernmental) and nonprofit – an outgrowth of the higher education community and not government.
- It is a process to scrutinize institutions and programs.
- It has a complex relationship with government, especially in relation to funding higher education.
- It adds value to society through assuring quality, enabling government to make sound judgments about the use of public funds, aiding the private sector in decisions about financial support, and easing transfer of credit.