Accreditation means the process of assessing whether an educational institution possesses certain quality standards. Universities should seek accreditation for many reasons, including credibility with students and faculty, financial aid opportunities, access to research grants, and compliance with governmental regulations.
Accrediting organizations base their evaluations on staffing resources devoted to these processes, facilities, and the available library/learning resource materials/resources. They also consider the institution’s mission, governance, strategic planning/resource allocation, curriculum/program review processes, and institutional commitment to continuous improvement through self-study and peer review activities.
The following are four types of accreditation that higher education institutions should have:
1) Programmatic Accreditation
Programmatic accreditation is critical to individual programs. A school can apply for programmatic accreditation with different agencies if it wants to establish its name in more than one field of studies, such as science, engineering, or business. For instance, Grand Canyon University accreditation asserted that programmatic accrediting commissions help to determine how well a program prepares students for employment after they graduate. At the same time, some educational institutions might require that their graduates take part in an internship before they get hired by organizations that look into these requirements for applicants during recruitment interviews.
Programmatic accreditation allows a university to have the best of both worlds because it is recognized by just one commission but gains respect from different schools. However, to maintain this kind of reputation, institutions must continue offering high-quality education and meet set standards for their graduates, who will be guaranteed employment when they leave school. That would also allow students from other countries to transfer from one college or university to another without starting all over again, because they can still use credits earned from one institution with another program accredited by the same agency.
National accreditation agencies provide evaluations based on national standards for one or more countries within the same geographic area. Each country might have its own education system with different policies regarding education that can affect their experience while studying abroad. Students choosing to study abroad will be subjected to the grading standards set by the country they’re visiting, which can be very different than their home country. Providing nationally recognized accreditation enables universities and colleges to recruit international students under appropriate circumstances where both parties understand the educational experience expected upon graduation. For instance, the Grand Canyon University accreditation team claimed that an individual who earns a degree from an institution with national accreditation would affordably apply for jobs requiring them to have attended a nationally accredited university.
3) Professional Accreditation
It covers non-degree-related courses that offer continuing education training in different fields, such as law enforcement, firefighting, real estate agents, and teachers. However, agencies that recognize these educational organizations give them their set standards because schools offering these courses generally have fewer requirements than degree-awarding institutions. While most schools will require students taking up certain subjects to have a degree from another institution, schools offering professional certification courses only require that students pass an exam given by the agency to practice their profession.
4) Institutional accreditation
This type provides general evaluations at local or national levels to higher learning institutions that award degrees at the associate’s degree through doctoral level. The institutional review process includes evaluation of governance, administration, and faculty achievements such as research activities and professional accomplishments. Institutional accreditation is usually done by a national board that sets standards, reviews institutions, and makes recommendations based on stated criteria.