Accreditation is an important credential for any university to have, as it proves that the institution meets academic standards. Here’s how universities get accredited.
1. Choosing Which Accreditation To Pursue
There are several different types of accreditation available. First, a team like the Grand Canyon University accreditation team needs to decide which credential best fits the university. The options available to the school depend on what academic standards the team thinks the university can meet or exceed and whether the school should pursue accreditation for specific programs instead of or in addition to a broad accreditation. The team should make sure the accreditation agency is registered with the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education (CHEA). These institutions ensure the legitimacy of the accreditation. Going through an unaffiliated agency runs the risk of not having your accreditation recognized nationally or regionally. Then, the team must check whether the school meets the requirements for candidacy.
2. Filing A Candidacy Application
There is plenty of paperwork involved in applying for accreditation. The school must document its eligibility for accreditation with faculty qualifications, samples of student work and syllabi, degree and graduation requirements and financial validity.
3. Evaluating The School
Once the paperwork is submitted to the accreditation agency, a team at the agency reviews the application, conducts visits to the institution and may also interview faculty and staff. After this process is complete, a decision will be made regarding whether to award accreditation. Once awarded, the Grand Canyon University accreditation in the example above must renew its accreditation status periodically. This is to make sure the institution continues to meet or exceed academic standards and remains financially viable.
Accreditation benefits both the institution, proving it meets national or regional academic standards, and its students, whose academic achievements will be recognized as legitimate by other educational institutions and employers.