FACTOID # 8: Bookworms: Vermont has the highest number of high school teachers per capita and third highest number of librarians per capita.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > School accreditation

Accreditation is a process by which a facility's services and operations are examined by a third-party accrediting agency to determine if applicable standards are met. Should the facility meet the accrediting agency's standards, the facility receives accredited status from the accrediting agency.


In the United States, the term is most often used with reference to schools and hospitals. Accreditation of these institutions is performed by private nonprofit membership associations known as accreditors. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation oversees accrediting agencies and provides guidelines as well as resources and relevant data. [3] In contrast, in many other countries the authority to operate an educational institution is at the discretion of the central government, typically through a Ministry of Education (MOE). In these countries, the MOE may provide functions similar to those of accreditation body, depending on resources and government interests. Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities, which also recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. ...

Contents

Accreditation in the U.S.

When discussing accreditation in the U.S., it is important that the concept of accreditation not be confused with the authority to operate. The authority to operate a school in the U.S. is granted by the each of the states individually. As the U.S. is federal republic, the authority of the U.S. Department of Education does not extend to authorizing schools to operate, to enroll students, or to award degrees. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education is not responsible for accreditation of institutions.


In the United States of America the accreditation of schools has long been established as a peer review process coordinated by accreditation commissions and the members, and predating the U.S. Department of Education by many decades. As noted the U.S. Department of Education itself [4], it does not accredit schools. These accreditation commissions are formed, funded, and operated by their members to create an academic community that is self-regulating. Peer review (known as refereeing in some academic fields) is a scholarly process used in the publication of manuscripts and in the awarding of funding for research. ...


With the advent of the U.S. Department of Education and under the terms of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, the U.S. Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that the Secretary determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit. The federal government makes no distinction between accreditation bodies, giving all equal standing. The Higher Education Act of 1965 (Pub. ... The United States Secretary of Education is the head of the Department of Education. ... The U.S. Department of Education does not directly accredit educational institutions and/or programs. ...


Regional accreditors

There are six regional accreditors. They include among their membership nearly all elementary schools, junior high schools, middle schools, high schools, community colleges, public universities, and private universities. Regional accreditation is a term used in the United States to refer to the process by which one of six accrediting bodies, each serving an area of the country, accredits schools, colleges, and universities. ...


National accreditors

There are 52 recognized national accrediting bodies.[1] The national accreditors include a variety of religious, professional, and vocational accreditors, and get their name from their common policy of accrediting schools nationwide or even worldwide. Requirements for accreditation vary from each national accreditor according to the speciality.


In general terms, the national accreditators may be divided into those that accredit academic programs leading to a degree, those that accredit vocational programs leading to preparation for a career, and those that offer specialized and professional accreditation as an add-on to other accreditation.


The major national accreditors for academic programs include the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) for nationally accredited distant learning institutions, and the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) is a non-profit accreditation agency recognized by Council on Higher Education Accreditation and the US Department of Education. ...


Accreditation bodies for institutions that focus on developing career-oriented skills include the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology(ACCSCT), Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training, Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology, Council on Occupational Education.


Of the specialized and professional accreditors, the most visible is perhaps American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation. Also prominent among the specialized accreditors is the American Bar Association because its accreditation is a prerequisite to sitting for the bar exam in all of the states except California. Next would probably be the Association of American Medical Colleges for medical schools, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business for business schools, the American Veterinary Medical Association for Veterinary Medicine, and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology for engineering schools. The American Dental Association (ADA) is an American advocacy group that promotes Oral Health Care and the field of dentistry. ... American Bar Associations Washington, DC office The American Bar Association (ABA) is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is a non_profit organization established in 1876 involved in the accreditation of medical schools and teaching hospitals in Canada and the United States. ... The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) - is the USA based body which awards accreditation following a review of the quality of degree programs delivered by Management Schools. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Religious schools may seek regional accreditation or a secular national accreditation, or they have the option of four different specialized agencies, which include Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools (AARTS), Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS), Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), and Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS). These groups specialize in accrediting theological and religious schools including seminaries and graduate schools of theology, as well as "normal" universities, which teach from a religious viewpoint and may require students and/or faculty to subscribe to a Statement of Faith. The Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools (AARTS) is a non-profit accreditation association for Rabbinical and Talmudic schools. ... The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) is an organization of seminaries and other graduate schools of theology. ... The Association for Biblical Higher Education or ABHE (formerly the The Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges or AABC) is a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education. ... TRACS The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, or TRACS, is a national accreditation agency located in Forest, Virginia. ... A seminary is a specialised university-like institution for the purpose of training candidates for positions within a religious context. ...


The remainder of the accrediting organizations are formed by groups of professional, vocational, or trade schools whose programs are industry/profession specific and at times can require technical oversight not provided by the broader accrediting organizations (i.e. the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education). Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) was established in 1932. ...


Unaccredited institutions

Despite the widely recognized benefits and accountability of accreditation, some instutions choose, for various reasons, not to participate in an accreditation process. According to the United States Department of Education, it is possible for postsecondary educational institutions and programs to elect not to seek accreditation but nevertheless provide a quality postsecondary education. [2] Yet, other unaccredited schools simply award degrees and diploma without merit for a price.


Some religious schools claim that accreditation could interfere with their mission or philosophy even though organisations do exist specifically to accredit religious institutions without compromising their doctrinal statements.[3] Some states, such as California, allow exemption from accreditation for religious schools. Thus, occasionally diploma mills operate as religious universities to avoid laws against diploma mills.[4] Meanwhile institutions, such as Strassford University, claim "none of the recognized regional accrediting organizations accept as members institutions that are not dedicated to traditional education," and thus, Strassford does not "desire" traditional accreditation.[5] The Strassford University is listed by the Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization as part of a diploma mill operation.[6] Furthermore, other schools simply do not have the means or organizational structure to meet accreditation standards and others, like San Diego Christian College, have had their accreditation status revoked after failing to meet minimum requirements. A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization which awards academic degrees and diplomas with very little or no academic study and without recognition by official accrediting bodies. ... University Degree Program (UDP) is an unaccredited consortium of diploma mills ran by Jason and Caroline Abraham (alias: Yaakov and Chaya Rochel). ... Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization authorizes schools to offer academic degree, validates individual claims of degrees, enforces the closure of substandard or fraudulent degree programs, and policy for publicly funded postsecondary programs and locations. ... A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization which awards academic degrees and diplomas with very little or no academic study and without recognition by official accrediting bodies. ... San Diego Christian College (SDCC) (formerly called Christian Heritage College) is located in El Cajon, California. ...


An ongoing problem within higher education accreditation is the existence of diploma mills and accreditation mills. These organizations exist to grant apparent degrees without course work to give a willing buyer a degree for money. Sometimes both the buyer and seller know this or a potential student is not aware of the fraud. In some cases a diploma mills and/or its "accreditor" is unrecognized and exists only at a post office box or Web page owned by the proprietor of the school. A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization which awards academic degrees and diplomas with little or no academic study, and without recognition by official bodies. ... Accreditation mill refers to an accreditation group with low educational standards and without recognition from government and mainstream academia. ... Schools that lack legitimate accreditation often claim accreditation from an unrecognized source. ... A Post Office box is a uniquely-addressable lockable box located on the premises of a Post Office station. ... A screenshot of a web page. ...


Accreditation of certification bodies

Organizations which certify third parties against many official standards are themselves formally accredited by the standards bodies, hence they are sometimes known as "accredited certification bodies".[5] The accreditation process ensures that their certification practices are acceptable i.e. they are competent to test and certify third parties, behave ethically, employ suitable quality assurance and other measures etc.


Examples include accredited test laboratories and certification specialists that are permitted to issue official certificates of compliance with physical, chemical, forensic, quality, security or other standards.[6]


Without accreditation, anyone would be able to issue certificates and bad practices or incompetence might discredit the certification process as a whole. The flip side, of course, is that accreditation and formal processes incur additional costs.


Legal considerations

In the United States, unaccredited degrees may not be acceptable for civil service or other employment; criminal penalties sometimes apply should such a degree be presented in lieu of one from an accredited school. The use of such degrees are restricted in Oregon, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, North Dakota, Nevada and Washington where improper usage can result in misdemeanor charges punishable by fines. For instance, the state of Washington passed a bill in March 2006 "prohibiting false or misleading college degrees."[7]. The state senate "unanimously amended and approved a bill that would make issuing or using a false degree a class C felony, a crime of fraud that could warrant five years in prison and a $10,000 fine" [8] unless the degree were accredited or otherwise recognized. Oregon has a procedure in which unaccredited schools can apply for authorization from the state, which maintains a list of approved and exempt unaccredited schools which are permitted there. An Oregonian wishing to use an unaccredited degree not approved by the state must make it clear that the school is not accredited.[9] Official language(s) None Capital Salem Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 9th  - Total 98,466 sq mi (255,026 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 2. ... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Area  Ranked 47th  - Total 8,729 sq mi (22,608 km²)  - Width 70 miles (110 km)  - Length 150 miles (240 km)  - % water 14. ... Official language(s) English Capital Indianapolis Largest city Indianapolis Area  Ranked 38th  - Total 36,418 sq mi (94,321 km²)  - Width 140 miles (225 km)  - Length 270 miles (435 km)  - % water 1. ... Official language(s) English Capital Springfield Largest city Chicago Area  Ranked 25th  - Total 57,918 sq mi (149,998 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 390 miles (629 km)  - % water 4. ... Official language(s) English Capital Bismarck Largest city Fargo Area  Ranked 19th  - Total 70,762 sq mi (183,272 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 340 miles (545 km)  - % water 2. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Official language(s) None Capital Olympia Largest city Seattle Area  Ranked 18th  - Total 71,342 sq mi (184,827 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 6. ... The term felony is used for very serious crimes, whereas misdemeanors are considered to be less serious offenses. ...


Some state laws allow authorities to shut down large illegal operations of unaccredited schools or diploma mills. In November 2005, a group of operators in Seattle was caught running several diploma mills. The group was indicted after a Secret Service investigation.[7] In 1998, Tyndale Theological Seminary was fined $173,000 for issuing degrees as a seminary without a license.[10] A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization which awards academic degrees and diplomas with very little or no academic study and without recognition by official accrediting bodies. ... Because of both the secrecy of secret services and the controversial nature of the issues involved, there is some difficulty in separating the definitions of secret service, secret police, intelligence agency etc. ...


Accreditation outside the U.S.

In much of the world, institutions of higher education are authorized to operate by the government, typically through a Ministry of Education (MOE). The MOE is responsible for ensuring the institutions meet government standards, so in a sense the government serves as an accreditation body, too. For example, in Australia, higher education providers generally need approval of the federal or state governments (or a non-government body to whom this power has been delegated), or an Act of Parliament, depending on the nature of the institution.


India

Accreditation for universities in India are required by law unless it was created through an act of Parliament. Without accreditation, "It is emphasized that these fake institutions have no legal entity to call themselves as University/Vishwvidyalaya and to award ‘degree’ which are not treated as valid for academic/employment purposes."[11] The University Grants Commission Act 1956 explains,

"the right of conferring or granting degrees shall be exercised only by a University established or incorporated by or under a Central Act, or a State Act, or an Institution deemed to be University or an institution specially empowered by an Act of the Parliament to confer or grant degrees. Thus, any institution which has not been created by an enactment of Parliament or a State Legislature or has not been granted the status of a Deemed to be University, is not entitled to award a degree."[12]

Accreditation for higher learning is overseen by autonomous institutions established by the University Grants Commission[13]: The University Grants Commission of India is a central government body that provides funds for government-recognised universities. ...


Russia

In Russia accreditation/ national recognition is directly overseen by the Education Ministry of Russia.[14] Since 1981, Russia has followed the UNESCO international regulations to ensure Russian institutions and international institutions meet high quality standards. It is illegal for a school to operate without government approval. UNESCO logo UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ...


South Korea

It is illegal to falsely claim a degree in South Korea if it does not meet accredited approval. For example, in March of 2006 prosecutors in Seoul "broken up a crime ring selling bogus music diplomas from Russia, which helped many land university jobs and seats in orchestras."[15] People who falsely used these degrees were criminally charged.


United Kingdom

In the UK it is illegal to offer a qualification that is or might seem to be UK degree unless the body offering it is on a statutory list maintained by the Department for Education and Skills.[8] Prosecutions under the Education Reform Act are rare, as many of the bodies on the internet are based outside UK jurisdiction.[citation needed] It is also worth noting in this context that the Business Names Act 1985 made it an offence for any business in the UK to use the word "university" in its name without the formal approval of the Privy Council.[9] The Department for Education and Skills is a department in the United Kingdom government created in 2001. ... Her Majestys Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. ...


Prosecutions under other legislation do occur. In 2004 Thames Valley College in London was prosecuted under the Trade Descriptions Act for offering degrees from the 'University of North America', a limited liability company set up by themselves in the US with no academic staff and no premises other than a mail forwarding service.[10]


See also

Accreditation mill refers to an accreditation group with low educational standards and without recognition from government and mainstream academia. ... Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities, which also recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. ... A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization which awards academic degrees and diplomas with very little or no academic study and without recognition by official accrediting bodies. ... .edu (education) is the generic top-level domain for educational institutions, primarily those in the United States. ... This article lists colleges, seminaries, and universities whose qualifications may possibly not be accepted by civil service or other employers. ... Schools that lack legitimate accreditation often claim accreditation from an unrecognized source. ... Accreditation is a certification of the academic quality of an institution of higher learning. ... Regional accreditation is a term used in the United States to refer to the process by which one of six accrediting bodies, each serving an area of the country, accredits schools, colleges, and universities. ...

References

  1. ^ Accreditation Search from the United States Department of Education
  2. ^ United States Department of Education. Diploma Mills and Accreditation (accessed 15 Sept 2006)
  3. ^ Christian Liberty Academy School System. (n.d) What Is CLASS - Accreditation
  4. ^ Butler, D. (n.d.) Ivory Tower Rip Offs - How Online Degree Mills Work. (Originally printed on about.com).
  5. ^ Strassford University
  6. ^ Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization
  7. ^ Stephen Phillips A stress-free PhD? A snap at $250 The Higher Education Supplement 25 November 2005
  8. ^ The Education Reform Act 1988, section 214 (Unrecognised degrees) [1]
  9. ^ Evidence given by Charles Clarke, then Secretary of State for Education and Skills MP, to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education and Skills, 7 July 2004 [2]
  10. ^ Alex Thompson, 2004. College fined £1,000. East End Life 29/11/04, Tower Hamlets Council. Google cache

ED headquarters in Washington A construction project to repair and update the building facade at the Department of Education Headquarters building in 2002 resulted in the installation of structures at all of the entrances to protect employees and visitors from falling debris. ... The Rt Hon. ... The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is the chief minister of the Department for Education and Skills in the United Kingdom government. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... A Select Committee is a committee made up of a small number of parliamentary members appointed to deal with particular areas or issues originating in the Westminster System of parliamentary democracy. ...

External links

Accreditation resources

  • Database for Accreditation in the United States (CHEA)
  • Database for Accreditation in the United States (USDE)
  • Database for Accreditation in the United Kingdom
  • Database for Accreditation in Australia
  • Database for Accreditation in India
  • Database for Accreditation in Malaysia
  • Database for Accreditation in the Netherlands
  • Database for Accreditation in Pakistan
  • Database for Accreditation in the Philippines
  • Database for Accreditation in Russia
  • Database for Accreditation in Sweden
  • National Recognition Information Centres
  • List of non-accredited colleges/universities by State of Michigan
  • List of non-accredited colleges/ universities by the State of Texas
  • List of unacceptable/illegal schools by Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization
  • List of non-accredited colleges/ universities by State of Maine
  • The World Higher Education Database (IAU/UNESCO) List of accredited schools throughout the world
  • The World Higher Education Database (IAU/UNESCO)

Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization authorizes schools to offer academic degree, validates individual claims of degrees, enforces the closure of substandard or fraudulent degree programs, and policy for publicly funded postsecondary programs and locations. ...

Bogus accreditation resources

  • Warning on Bogus Claims of Accreditation/ affiliation with UNESCO

  Results from FactBites:
 
College Accreditation - University Accreditation - School Accreditation (384 words)
Accreditation is also important for your degree to be recognized by employers and professional associations.
Accreditation is an assurance to students and the public that an institution meets or exceeds standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability.
Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), www.ncahlc.org.
School Accreditation and District Improvement - SD Department of Education (1666 words)
It specifies the responsibilities of the school district and its schools.
The secretary of the Department of Education shall be responsible for the classification and accreditation of all public and nonpublic schools under the rules established by the South Dakota Board of Education pursuant to chapter 1- 26.
Nonpublic schools that wish to seek or remain accredited must schedule their onsite visit in the same semester as the ESA in which they would be geographically located.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m