It’s no secret that college costs continue to rise. So, it’s critical to consider tuition fees to ensure that your education is worth the money. The primary way to scrutinize the quality of the courses at institutions is to check the institution’s accreditation status.
Accreditation agencies represent the group of evaluative organizations that supervise the college accreditation process. These working bodies regularly review each school’s courses to ensure that each institution provides high-quality education for students.
Legal accreditation agencies authorized by the Higher Education Accreditation Council (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) certify that the school meets specific academic performance standards. Investigators can find the complete list of authorized personnel on the ED Higher Education Accreditation Program database or the CHEA website.
Importance of Accreditation
The United States does not have federal higher education regulations on academic quality and standards; in contrast, each state has its guidelines. Unfortunately, due to the flexible supervision provided by the state government, some institutions have dishonest practices and poor education. Therefore, an independent certification body is the only way for future students to check the educational value of the institution.
Regional and National Certification
There are three types of certification bodies: regional, national and planned. Several regional institutions regulate the accreditation of public and private educational institutions with four-year study programs, each maintaining standards for specific geographic areas. Furthermore, there are mainly two university accreditation agencies affiliated with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The following is a list of regional certification agencies in the states and territories under its jurisdiction.
Higher Learning Commission (HLC):
Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, West Virginia, and government-authorized sovereign states.
New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE):
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and some international projects.
Northwest Commission on College and Universities (NWCCU):
Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and some other programs offered by international schools, including accredited programs provided by online education within these schools.
National organizations recognize vocational schools and colleges, including Bible schools. In addition, the state acknowledges many for-profit organizations and the region recognizes non-profit schools. Most schools in the United States have obtained Regional Accreditation.
Program certification bodies such as the Nursing Education Certification Board or the Chiropractic Education Board will review specific departments to determine how their programs will adequately prepare graduates for careers in that field. These groups are maintained by CHEA, some of which are CHEA-certified, some are ED-certified, and some are certified. Therefore, Project certification does not exist in all fields but is a supplement to national or regional Accreditation.
Why do I Need to Confirm Accreditation?
Academic performance and credits for graduate
Regional and National universities accept Higher Education courses and only students who have obtained degrees from other recognized regions are accepted. So, it’s a crucial step to ensure the university or college accreditation for availing future job opportunities.
It also applies to transfer students: educational institutions with regional Accreditation only accept loans from other authorized schools. In addition, since regulatory agencies have to inspect both institutions, they can check the rigor of their courses, making it easier to earn credits for coursework.
Accreditation and Employment
Many employers, such as the federal government, may require applicants to graduate from nationally or regionally recognized schools. In addition, students must acquire certification or license to find employment in areas such as education and nursing. The students are required to hold a program-based degree in these cases to obtain these qualifications.
Accreditation and Financial Aid
Students interested in government grants, including loans, scholarships, grants, and awards, must attend regionally or nationally recognized schools. In addition, completing the Free State Student Aid Application (FAFSA) determines your eligibility for state financial aid. Also, private forms of financial assistance require graduation from FAFSA; either regional or national accreditation.