Why Do I Need to be Accredited?
Higher education in North America has become known over the years as a widely varied and competitive structure boasting robust private and public sectors in which colleges and universities enjoy significant independence. A proportionately high number of the population of the United States attends a higher education institution at some point in their lives, and international students flock to American institutions more than to any other. Globally, American higher education is the leader in the production of new knowledge.
Accreditation is one of the major reasons for this worldwide prominence. Accreditation reveals the comparative advantages of American higher education. For example, its numerous and diverse institutions, and its methods of graduate education. It is the foundation of the core values that higher education enjoys. Namely, those of self-government, academic pursuit, and the assurance of scholastic quality through peer review.
In nearly every other country, higher education policy is under the auspices and control of the national government. American free market and individualism have a strong influence, however, and many nations have begun shaping their higher education systems after the United States model, of which accreditation is a central part. For more discussion of accreditation in the United States, go to www.joinitaa.com.
The question, “why do I need to be accredited?” is further answered by several very practical observations.
1. Accreditation ensures that the quality of the educational experience meets standards of the body of learning undertaken. Accreditation status is provided by either private, nongovernmental entities or governmental entities created specifically to review higher education institutions and programs. The accrediting boards are composed of faculty of other accredited institutions or of professional associations in specific disciplines. The accreditation process evaluates not just a school's faculty and course content, but also its resources, recruiting and admissions procedures, administration, and so on. This ensures that students are receiving education resulting in positive learning outcomes, and that the institution is able to measurably improve any areas where problems may be detected. Asking “Why do I need to be accredited?” will yield valuable results for those in higher education.
2. Accreditation provides for credit transfer between colleges and universities because the institutions can expect identical standards.
3. Accreditation increases and enhances employment opportunities. Many prospective employers check a candidate’s educational history, looking to see if his or her degree, diploma or certificate is from a college, university, or program with accreditation. They want to verify that the candidate really learned what is needed in order to succeed in their chosen profession.
4. Accreditation provides for easier entry into many technical and professional careers through registration, certification, and licensure. A great number of states require that colleges, universities and other programs be accredited when preparing students for state licensure.
5. Accreditation is the only way that most federal and some state student loans, scholarships and grants can be obtained. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation mandates that colleges, universities and other higher education programs be accredited before federal funds can be applied to education costs.
Accreditation makes higher education institutes very attractive on many fronts. Other information about why does one need to be accredited can be found at www.joinitaa.com.