If you’ve done any research of colleges then you are surely aware of accreditation. Some people require you to enroll in accredited schools while there are those who say that any school is just fine. But what is college accreditation and why is it important to your education?
According to the American Psychological Association, accreditation goes two ways: it is both a process and a status. It serves as a process because when a school finally receives recognition by the accrediting agency, it is comitted to examine itself and open to a review by its peers and colleagues. It must meet the standards of education and continuously try to improve the quality of its programs. On the other hand, this is a status because the accreditation means that the standard of quality education has been met.
In this case, the Commission on Accreditation (CoA), the accrediting body of the psychology course, provides the procedures and guidelines by which this process is carried out. There is also a list of college accreditation which comes out annually in the December edition of the American Psychologist journal.
Why is Accreditation Important?
So why is accreditation important? And why do some teachers and parents encourage their child to enroll in schools accredited by governing bodies?
True, having graduated from a school that’s accredited by officiating government bodies do not guarantee your future success. However, it does improve your chances. Here are some characteristics of an accredited school: it shows that professional quality of education is being addressed and that is transparent about the kind of curriculum and education it gives to its students.
College accreditation for students: This is an assurance that what you are enrolled in is going through continuous improvements accordingly to the education standards. It’s a continuous review to meet the standards of profession.
College accreditation for the faculty: By having the school accredited, this just means that there is a formal process of evaluation. With this, the teachers and faculty, the students, and the school as a whole can work together to achieve the mission and vision of the university.
College accreditation for the particular course and the practitioners: When a school is accredited, the administration and the practitioners, experts and professionals of this course can now exchange ideas and opinions. They can address future needs and problems through training and professional education.
College accreditation for the public: This only means that there is public accountability of an institution. It must be honest in the way it runs its curriculum and must clearly state the mission, vision, and goals of the school.
How do you know which College is Accredited?
To know which college is accredited, there are two huge organizations in the United States that give this college accreditation: the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
You can look up their websites and see if your desired university is in their list. If not, you may wish to try choosing another school.