Thinking of going back to school to make your educational and career
goals possible? In your research and reviews of potential
universities, you’re going to come across the word “Accreditation.”
You may see it and think that all universities are accredited, and
that it’s not an important of a distinction, but that’s simply not the
case. That’s why we want to present you with the four things you need
to know about accreditation, beginning with:
What Does “Accreditation” Mean?
Accreditation is a voluntary activity
initiated by a university to get official recognition that they
meet or exceed a set of standards for higher learning. The process
of obtaining accreditation is rigorous, and the university must
meet strict criteria regarding their curriculum and faculty. The
independent accreditation agency conducts numerous site visits,
and has the prerogative to perform unannounced visits. In
addition, the university must develop and implement an
effectiveness plan. The financial stability of the university is
reviewed annually, as well as retention and rates. If the
university is judged to meet or exceed the accreditation agency’s
standards, the university receives accreditation.
Why Is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation lets students know that the
school meets or exceeds a set standard of quality. It can be
especially important for distance learning universities, as it can
provide peace of mind in the curriculum and quality of online
courses. Beyond the university, accreditation also helps employers
determine the validity of the school’s degree programs. Some
employers will even check to make sure that the graduating
institution is indeed accredited, as this information can be
applied in determining the quality of the applicant’s education.
Accreditation is also important for the benefit of the university.
It can show a commitment to best practices and creating goals for
institutional improvement. Financially, it can provide a basis for
determining eligibility for federal student assistance—for a
student to apply for federal grants and loans, the university
they’re attending must be accredited by an accrediting agency that
is recognized by the US Department of Education.
What is the difference between Institutional
and Programmatic Accreditation?
There are two kinds of
accreditation—Institutional and Programmatic. Institutional
Accreditation looks at the health of the entire institution and
focuses on ensuring that the proper policies and procedures are in
place to ensure student success. It is also important because, as
mentioned above, it can ensure that you will be able to obtain
federal financial aid at a particular institution. Programmatic
Accreditation focuses on certain subject matters. There are
programmatic accrediting agencies for just about any subject.
While Institutional Accreditation looks at the overall
institution, Programmatic Accreditation looks in more detail at
the program that they are accrediting and ensures that the
institution is teaching a certain set of knowledge and skills
necessary to succeed in that subject matter.
How Accreditation Can Help You Choose the Right University
The bottom line is that you want your degree to
mean something, to help you open doors to new career
possibilities. Accreditation can be seen as validation for
attending your university of choice. Strayer University is
institutionally accredited and programmatically accredited.
Strayer is institutionally accredited by the Middle States
Commission on Higher Education, which is recognized by the U.S.
Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education
Accreditation. Middle States is the same organization that
accredits universities like Princeton University, Johns Hopkins
University, Syracuse University, and many more. Strayer University
is also programmatically accredited by two institutions: The
Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the
Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
The ACBSP programmatically accredits Strayer’s 13 business degree
programs, including the Jack Welch Management Institute Executive
MBA. TEAC programmatically accredits Strayer’s Master of Education
degree. Our primary goal in maintaining our accreditations is to
make sure that we have academically rigorous courses and programs
that will help our students be competitive in the marketplace.
*Strayer University is accredited by the Middle States Commission
on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
). The Commission is an
institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary
of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
The ACBSP accredits Strayer University’s 13 business degree
programs, including JWMI EMBA. Accreditation Council for Business
Schools and Programs, 11520 West 119th Street, Overland Park, KS
66213, Phone: 913-339-9356. TEAC, now part of the Council for
Accreditation of Educator Preparation, is located at 2010
Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036, Phone: