Regional accreditation


Regional accreditation

Regional accreditation is a term used in the United States to refer to the process by which one of several accrediting bodies, each serving one of six defined geographic areas of the country, accredits schools, colleges, and universities. Each regional accreditor encompasses the vast majority of public and nonprofit private educational institutions in the region it serves.

Comparison of vocational and regional accreditation

Vocational and religious accreditation groups have standards that are different from regional accreditors. For example, Trinity College (Florida) holds accreditation from the Association for Biblical Higher Education. [http://abhe.gospelcom.net/accredited.htm#T] Trinity applied for regional accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, but was rejected in December 2005. In December 2005, SACS reviewed the college and rejected the application for accreditation because "Trinity College of Florida failed to provide information demonstrating its compliance with Core Requirement 2.5 (Institutional Effectiveness), Core Requirement 2.7.1 (Program Length), Core Requirement 2.7.2 (Program Content), Core Requirement 2.8 (Faculty), Comprehensive Standard 3.7.1 (Faculty), and Core Requirement 2.9 (Learning Resources and Services) of the Principles of Accreditation. [http://www.sacscoc.org/disclosure/dec2005/Trinity%20of%20Florida.pdf]

Regionally accredited schools are predominantly academically oriented, non-profit institutions. Nationally accredited schools are predominantly for-profit and offer vocational, career or technical programs. Every college has the right to set standards and refuse to accept transfer credits. However, if a student has gone to a nationally accredited school it may be particularly difficult to transfer credits (or even credit for a degree earned) if he or she then applies to a regionally accredited college. Some regionally accredited colleges have general policies against accepting any credits from nationally accredited schools, others are reluctant to because they feel that these schools' academic standards are lower than their own or they are unfamiliar with the particular school. The student who is planning to transfer credits from a nationally accredited school to a regionally accredited school should ensure that the regionally accredited school will accept the credits before they enroll in the nationally accredited school. [http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/19/transfer "Demanding Credit", Inside Higher Education website, dated Oct. 19, 2005 by Scott Jaschik] ] [http://insidehighered.com/news/2007/02/26/transfer "Tussling Over Transfer of Credit", Inside Higher Education website, February 26, 2007 by Doug Lederman] ] [http://www.useducation.com.pk/stpages/typesofaccreditation.html "Types of Accreditation", Education USA website] ] [http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/education/courses/distancelearn-09.html "What is the Difference Between Regional and National Accreditation", Yahoo! Education website] ]

List of the regional accreditors

The following are the regional accrediting agencies for educational institutions in the United States:

* Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools - Educational institutions in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, as well as schools for American children in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
* New England Association of Schools and Colleges - Educational institutions in the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).
* North Central Association of Colleges and Schools - Educational institutions in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
* Northwest Association of Accredited Schools - Primary and secondary schools in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
* Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities - Postsecondary institutions (colleges and universities) in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
* Western Association of Schools and Colleges - Educational institutions in California, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, Palau, and Northern Marianas Islands.
* Southern Association of Colleges and Schools - Educational institutions in Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas.

Each regional agency has full accrediting authority for both grade schools (primary and secondary) and colleges (postsecondary), with the exception of the northwest region, for which responsibility is divided between two separate accreditation agencies (NAAS for grade schools, NCCU for colleges).

ee also

* Council for Higher Education Accreditation
* List of recognized accreditation associations of higher learning
* United States Department of Education

References

External links

* [http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs]
* [http://www.degree.net/guides/accreditation_faqs.html Accreditation FAQ]
*U.S. Department of Education, [http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html Accreditation in the United States]


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