Understanding University Accreditation: A Clear Path To Educational Quality

11 Dec 2023
Understanding University Accreditation

Accreditation is awarded for high-quality higher education programs and excellent educational institutions. Accreditation is one of the most effective ways that universities, colleges, and schools can show that they offer quality education. It is one of the most important factors that attracts students to a college, school, or university. Advanced accreditation data management systems (ADMS) are incredibly helpful for this.

Accreditation is also a way for the public to know that the accredited school offers high-quality education.

Getting accreditation is also important for several other reasons. For instance, students seeking federal and state grants and scholarships for higher education must study at accredited programs, universities, and schools. Besides this, accredited schools and colleges are preferred by employers who provide employees with tuition assistance, or make charitable donations. This is where university management systems are immensely useful.

Accreditation is also important for educational institutions to be eligible for federal grants, loans, and other funds. Apart from this accreditation is also necessary for schools, colleges, and universities to conduct state licensure examinations.

Despite this importance, there are still large numbers of long-established educational institutions that do not have accreditation. One of the biggest reasons for this is the lack of an effective ADMS solution.

This article will explain everything you need to know about accreditation.

What Is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a multi-level process of assessing an educational institution’s quality. A comprehensive assessment is carried out for the accreditation process. It involves checking that an educational institution follows the standards, practices, and policies set by acclaimed accreditation agencies.

A third-party evaluator performs an in-depth assessment of an educational institution’s overall quality according to pre-set requirements and criteria. The assessment results help the institution develop trust, public confidence, and accountability.

Schools, colleges, and universities can efficiently prepare for the accreditation process through reliable accreditation data management systems.

What Are Different Types Of Accreditation?

There are mainly two types of accreditation, which are -

Institutional Accreditation

Institutional accreditation is the most common type of accreditation globally. This accreditation certifies the quality of academia and administration of an entire educational institution, such as a school, college, or every department of a university.

Institutional accreditation is normally awarded by a national accreditation agency or a regional (state) accreditation agency. These agencies are focused on evaluating and accreditation specific types of colleges, such as schools of arts, medical schools, or engineering colleges. ADMS solutions can support educational institutions to achieve institutional accreditation more efficiently.

Programmatic/Specialized Accreditation

Specialized or programmatic accreditation can also be accredited independently in an educational institution. This is awarded to specific courses or education programs, even if the school or college itself does not have institutional accreditation.

Programmatic accreditation is awarded by accreditation agencies that focus on certain specialized professional programs and technical courses. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, and the International Association for Management Education are popular programmatic/specialized accreditation agencies.

To ensure easy acquisition of programmatic accreditation, experts advise educational institutions to use comprehensive university management systems.

Why Is Accreditation Important?

Accreditation is important for educational institutions for several different reasons. Here are the most significant reasons why accreditation is important for schools, colleges, universities, and academic programs -

Accreditation Important

Academic Validity

Students and their families put academic quality as the top priority when selecting a school, college, or university for education. An educational institution with high-quality accredited academic programs provides students with the right skills and knowledge that help advance their careers.

Graduates seek to have credentials that help develop a strong resume for potential employers. Accreditation evaluation considers practical and operational aspects of educational institutions, as much as academics before providing accreditation certificates. A reputed ADMS solution can make it easier to ensure the academic viability of educational institutions.

An achievable degree does not necessarily have to be easy in terms of academic effort from students. A third-party evaluation of the curriculum ensures that the quality of the academic syllabus and course content is up to standard. To ensure compliance with accreditation standards educational institutions are recommended to use efficient accreditation data management systems.

Educational Grants

Educational grants are extremely important for tens of thousands of students to complete their higher education. Getting accredited is an important eligibility criterion for an educational institution to receive federal and state funding and grants. Accreditation is also essential for educational institutions if students need loans and scholarships to pursue higher education.

If an educational institution is not accredited, then the students will have to seek other financial aid, such as a private education loan, or personal loan, or even pay for tuition out of pocket. You can successfully ensure your educational institution is eligible for all relevant government funding and grants by integrating a trusted university management system.

Staff Experience & Reputation

Accreditation is also a mark of government approval and appreciation to showcase an educational institution’s overall quality. It is also useful to measure a school, college, or university faculty’s experience and reputation. This can be done easily using an efficient ADMS platform.

The accreditation process takes into account the faculty’s presentation and publication history. These are the main elements to assess an educator’s demonstrable expertise among peers and in their chosen fields of education. The extent and type of experience of the teaching staff bring special value to the educational institution.

Updated Skills & Knowledge

The accreditation process also considers an educational institution’s quality of education, but also the relevancy of the curriculum. Both factors are incredibly important as the education industry becomes more tech-savvy and globalized.

For this, educational institutions need to ensure that the educational tools and technology being used are updated to the latest version and fulfill specific industrial standards. This is also an effective way to decide if the teaching faculty’s expertise and skills are up to date. An advanced accreditation data management system can be integrated to showcase that students are learning updated knowledge and skills.

Enhanced Student Qualification

The accreditation process also involves measuring the academic progress of students. This includes considering how students succeed in their programs and when they graduate. This process also takes into account the retention rate of students who are enrolled in a program. For instance, the freshman retention rate is a major indicator of a graduate college and course’s success.

The major metrics to measure student retention are progression, graduation, and placement, according to accreditation standards. This process can be easily handled using an advanced university management system.

Graduate Employability

Currently, employers are increasingly preferring to hire graduates from accredited schools and colleges. Graduating from an accredited educational institution is also a strong favorable factor to create an impressive resume. This could often be the deciding factor for employers to make hiring decisions for multiple candidates.

In many cases, graduating from an accredited educational institute can significantly improve the job prospects for students.

Industry-Ready Skill Development

Many major industries today prefer prospective employees to take certain state licensure or certification exams. For this, the accreditation and its type can have a major influence on whether graduates can fulfill these additional requirements.

To ensure a smooth accreditation process, industry experts recommend using the latest ADMS solution in your educational institution.

Institutional Reliability

Every year numerous schools, colleges, and universities are shutting down for various reasons. However, this does not happen to educational institutions that are committed to keeping up with the standards and qualifications required for accreditation.

This makes accreditation a crucial indicator for students to decide the reliability and viability of the educational institution of their choice. To showcase your institution’s reliability, you can integrate the latest university management system for your handling administrative tasks more efficiently.

Student Support

Apart from these accreditation factors, student services and student support are also major elements in the accreditation process. Accreditation bodies also consider the ease of access to libraries, and other learning resources for students before awarding accreditation.

What Are The Steps For Accreditation?

Now that you know what accreditation is, let’s look at the steps for accreditation -

The Steps For Accreditation

1. Self-Assessment

Self-assessment, or self-study is the first step in the accreditation process. Self-study refers to how educational institutions can get insightful information on their current educational and management standards. This is necessary to ensure that all accreditation-related policies and practices are being followed. You can facilitate this by integrating advanced accreditation data management systems.

Self-study is an excellent way for educational institutions to identify their strengths and weaknesses. After in-depth analysis, the educational institution is expected to submit a self-evaluation report to the accrediting body, which oversees the entire accreditation process.

2. Standard Setting

The state or federal government forms an accreditation assessment body or chooses a private agency for this task. This entity is tasked with reviewing the educational and management standards of schools, colleges, and universities. It identifies which pre-set standards and policies are being met by the assessed educational institute.

A comprehensive ADMS solution helps to ensure that your educational institution consistently meets the accreditation standards.

3. On-Site Evaluation

The accreditation agency will then conduct an on-site evaluation. This is to determine first-hand the level of compliance of educational institutions relating to academic and administrative standards.

The accreditation agency also analyzes the self-study report submitted by the educational institution. This report should include detailed reviews of academic records and employee interviews. It then conducts an in-depth on-site evaluation and takes into consideration several different evaluation factors.

After a detailed review, the third-party agency will report to the state or federal government if the applicant institute is eligible for accreditation. To make this process more efficient, you can simply integrate a university management system to handle administrative tasks.

4. Accreditation Certification

After being selected for accreditation, the relevant government body for accreditation will award the accreditation certificate.

Accreditation is a constant process and a review is conducted once every year, or more frequently. The educational institution is notified beforehand of the next date of evaluation for accreditation. This ensures that the accredited educational institution is maintaining a high level of academic and administrative management quality as required by accreditation standards year after year. To secure accreditation for your educational institution every year, it is necessary to have a reliable ADMS solution on hand.

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What Happens If You Lose Accreditation?

Accredited educational institutions need to maintain their academic and administrative standards consistently to retain their accreditation certificate.

In case a school, college, or university loses its accreditation it could lead to widespread ramifications, for students and the school.

Here are some of the outcomes of what happens when an educational institution loses accreditation:

Loss Of Grants

The school, college, or university may lose their eligibility to receive federal and state grants and funding, preventing scholarship students from pursuing higher education.

Credits Cannot Be Transferred

Students may not be able to transfer their credits to another educational institution.

Degrees Become Invalid

Students may find their earned degree is invalid for graduate-level education.

Close Permanently

The educational institution may be shut down permanently.

If educational institutions lose accreditation then they lose public trust and popularity. The students will not be able to collect reimbursement for their tuition. This will force students to seek admission to a different institution that has credible accreditation. To prevent this, you can use reliable accreditation data management systems.


Accreditation is one of the most important factors to consider before choosing a school, college, or university to pursue higher education. This is even more important if you seek enrollment in a distance learning course or institution. Accredited educational institutions can be relied on to provide high-quality education and updated skill development to students. The most efficient way to achieve accreditation is by integrating a reliable accreditation data management system.

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Prashant Borkar Author:

Prashant Borkar,

Academic Consultant

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