Introduction to Accreditation
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality. Voluntary, non-governmental, institutional accreditation as practiced by WSCUC and other accrediting commissions is a unique characteristic of American higher education. In many other countries, the maintenance of educational standards is a governmental function. In the United States the federal Department of Education recognizes accrediting agencies that meet certain criteria, and that recognition carries with it both a mark of respect and access for their students to federal financial aid. Accreditation can be granted to public and private, non-profit and for-profit, and associates, bachelors, professional and graduate degree-granting institutions. No institution in the United States is required to seek accreditation; however, because of the recognized benefits, most eligible institutions have sought to become accredited.
WSCUC accreditation aids institutions in developing and sustaining effective educational programs and assures the educational community and the general public that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness. Learn more about WSCUC’s approach to accreditation by visiting our About WSCUC page.