Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated and verified by an external body to determine if applicable and recognized standards are met. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the appropriate agency.
In most countries the function of educational accreditation is conducted by a government organization, such as a Ministry of Education. In the United States a quality assurance process exists that is independent of government and performed by private non-profit organizations. Those organizations are formally called accreditors. All accreditors in the US must in turn be recognized by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), which is an advisory body to the U.S. Secretary of Education, in order to receive federal funding and any other type of federal recognition. Therefore, the federal government is the principal architect and controlling authority of accreditation. The U.S. accreditation process was developed in the late 19th century and early 20th century after educational institutions perceived a need for improved coordination and articulation between secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, along with standardization of requirements between the two levels.
Accreditation of higher education varies by jurisdiction and may be focused on either or both the institution or the individual programs of study.
Higher education accreditation in the United States has long been established as a peer review process coordinated by accreditation commissions and member institutions. The federal government began to play a limited role in higher education accreditation in 1952 with the reauthorization of the GI Bill for Korean War veterans. With the creation 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 for higher education.
In the United States, there is no federal government list of recognized accreditation agencies for primary and secondary schools like there is for higher education. Public schools must adhere to criteria set by the state governments, and there is wide variation among the individual states in the requirements applied to non-public primary and secondary schools. There are six regional accreditors in the United States that have historically accredited elementary schools, junior high schools, middle schools, high schools, as well as institutions of higher education. Some of the regional accreditors, such as, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges AdvancED, and some independent associations, such as the Association of Christian Schools International and Council of Islamic Schools of North America (CISNA), have expanded their accreditation activity to include schools outside the United States.
The Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities (ASIC UK) is an independent international educational standards assessment agency based in the United Kingdom. ASIC has been appointed by the United Kingdom Government's Home Office UK Border Agency to inspect colleges seeking to apply for sponsor's licences from the UK Border Agency.Accrediting Commission International
Accrediting Commission International (ACI), also known as Accrediting Commission International for Schools, Colleges, and Theological Seminaries, possibly associated with International Accrediting Commission (IAC), also known as International Accrediting Commission for Schools, Colleges and Theological Seminaries, is an unrecognized educational accreditation corporation in the United States. It primarily accredits religious schools, including seminaries and Bible colleges, and also offers accreditation to non-U.S. schools that offer business education programs. It is on a 2009 list of accreditation mills in College and University, the journal of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.Adventist Accrediting Association
The Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools (AAA) is an educational accreditation body operated by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Accreditation by the body is not academic accreditation and it is not recognized by government-recognized accreditors. Rather, accreditation by the AAA is based on whether an institution follows the religious tenets of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This is official recognition by the Seventh-day Adventist church and is used to determine whether schools may apply for church funding. Its process support services, religious course material and the makeup of the teaching staff.The Adventist Church is affiliated with or operates 7,598 schools, colleges and universities worldwide. It says it operates "one of the largest church-supported educational systems in the world".In terms of enrolled students, the Northern Caribbean University, located in Mandeville, Jamaica, is the largest Seventh-day Adventist university in the world.Association of Christian Schools International
The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), founded in 1978, is an association of evangelical Protestant Christian schools.British Accreditation Council
The British Accreditation Council (BAC), formerly known as The British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education, is an educational accreditation agency recognised by the British Government for international students entering the United Kingdom on student visitor visas. The British Accreditation Council was established in 1984, making it the oldest national independent accrediting body for non-EFL independent further and higher education providers in the UK.California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education
The California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) is a unit of the California Department of Consumer Affairs charged with regulation of private postsecondary educational institutions operating in the state of California.
The BPPE is not an accrediting agency. Its primary purpose is to prevent fraudulent diploma mills. Institutions that are approved to operate in California by the Bureau still need to separately obtain educational accreditation from national or regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its students to qualify for federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants.Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation
The Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA) was an international educational accreditation agency.
CITA was formed in 1994 by regional accrediting organizations in the United States following a long history of collaboration under other auspices. CITA provided systems of accreditation around the world and it provided accreditation for individual schools. In 2008, CITA was acquired by AdvancED, which continues its work.Council for Higher Education in Israel
The Council for Higher Education in Israel (Hebrew: המועצה להשכלה גבוהה, HaMo'atza LeHaskala Gevoha) is a supervisory body for universities and colleges in Israel. It is the only organization with the authority to award academic educational accreditation. The head of the council is always the Minister of Education, and at least two-thirds of its members are academics.
The council is located in Albert Einstein Square, Jerusalem, next to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.Distance Education Accrediting Commission
The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), formerly known as the National Home Study Council and then as the Distance Education and Training Council, is a non-profit national educational accreditation agency in the United States specializing in the accreditation of (51 percent or more) distance education programs of study and institutions.Georgia Accrediting Commission
The Georgia Accrediting Commission is a nonprofit educational accreditation organization founded in 1904 "to stimulate the schools to achieve and maintain a high level of professional integrity and competence." Its purposes are stated as to provide standards for Georgia's schools and to promote high quality education to meet those standards. The organization is governed by the Board of Directors and is financed by the University of Georgia.International Accreditation Council for Business Education
The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), formerly the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, is an educational accreditation agency for college and university business programs. It is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as a programmatic accrediting organization. It is also a member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education - (INQAAHE).International Council for Open and Distance Education
The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) is a membership-led global organization in the field of online, open, flexible and technology enhanced education. It consists of more than 190 higher education institutions and organizations in some 71 countries.ICDE does not provide educational accreditation to its members. Its website states: "Claims that ICDE provides institutional accreditation or the unauthorized use of the ICDE logo on websites or marketing materials is strictly prohibited and will result in withdrawal of membership."National Intelligence University
The National Intelligence University (NIU), formerly known as the National Defense Intelligence College and the Joint Military Intelligence College, is a federally chartered research university in Bethesda, Maryland. NIU is the United States Intelligence Community's (IC) institution for higher learning in fields of study central to the profession of intelligence and national security. NIU awards undergraduate and graduate degrees, graduate certificates, and research fellowships to prepare personnel for senior positions in the IC and the broader national security enterprise. Since 1963, more than 80,000 military and civilian students have attended the university. Formerly located at the Defense Intelligence Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., NIU's primary campus is now located at Intelligence Community Campus-Bethesda (ICC-B) with four additional locations around the world. The university's John T. Hughes Library is also located at ICC-B. NIU is the only university in the United States where students can study and complete research at the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level.
National Intelligence University's interdisciplinary programs emphasize education through scholarly and applied research designed to help U.S. intelligence officers better understand the diverse range of geopolitical, strategic, and technological threats and opportunities affecting intelligence and national security. The university is organized into two separate academic units: the College of Strategic Intelligence and the Oettinger School of Science and Technology Intelligence. Combined, the colleges cover a diverse and evolving range of international affairs issues and adversarial threats and capabilities, from cultural and religious conflicts to WMD proliferation, cybersecurity threats, terrorism, transnational crime, and more.Congressionally chartered and publicly funded but with admissions restricted solely to current U.S. Intelligence officers holding a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance, NIU is a small, non-resident university. Admissions are highly selective, but tuition is paid by the United States Government.New England Association of Schools and Colleges
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC) is the United States' regional accreditation association providing educational accreditation. NEASC serves over 2,000 public and independent schools, technical/career institutions, colleges, and universities in the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), plus international schools in more than 65 nations. Its headquarters is in Burlington, Massachusetts.NEASC is made up of three commissions: the Commission on Independent Schools (CIS), the Commission on International Education (CIE), and the Commission on Public Schools (CPS). The commissions decide matters of accreditation in the context of research-driven standards reviewed by their membership. The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly part of NEASC, was organized in late 2018 as a separate and independent entity, in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education.NEASC Accreditation is a system of accountability that is ongoing, voluntary, and comprehensive in scope. It is based on a rigorous set of standards that encompass all aspects of a school, center, or institution’s operation. In accordance with the independent, voluntary nature of accreditation, the standards are developed and reviewed periodically by the NEASC commissions and the membership in order to remain in alignment with current research, best practices, and pertinent governmental regulations in the US and abroad. It does not compare or rank schools, but rather respects differences in institutional populations, missions, and cultures, and fosters institutional growth.North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), also known as the North Central Association, was a membership organization, consisting of colleges, universities, and schools in 19 U.S. states engaged in educational accreditation. It was one of six regional accreditation bodies in the U.S. and its Higher Learning Commission was recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) as a regional accreditor for higher education institutions.The organization was dissolved in 2014. The primary and secondary education accreditation functions of the association have been merged into AdvancED with the postsecondary education accreditation functions vested in the Higher Learning Commission.Pre-tertiary-education accreditation
Pre-tertiary-education accreditation is a type of quality assurance process used in the United States under which services and operations of pre-tertiary schools and educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met.Sukhishvili University
Sukhishvili University is an accredited,independent private university under Georgia's national accreditation scheme by the National Center for Educational Accreditation (replaced by the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement in 2010) in Shida Kartli region, Gori, central Georgia. It was founded in 1995 as Georgian Agrarian Science Academy Branch; in 2003 it obtained independent status.
The founder and rector of the university is Valeri Sukhishvili.Western Catholic Education Association
Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA) is an educational accreditation agency for Roman Catholic schools in part of the United States. It is based in Fullerton, California.