REGIONAL ACCREDITATIONS   NATIONAL ACCREDITATIONS   GLOBAL ACCREDITATIONS 
INDEPENDENT AND AFFORDABLE EDUCATIONAL ACCREDITATIONS FOR SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

 ACCREDITATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES  




Accreditations in the United States are performed by private non-governmental accrediting agencies. There is no any special approval or recognition procedure for any accrediting agency in the United States.

Government agencies (including the U.S. Department of Education) can not influence in any way creation and accreditation work of any accrediting agency.

In the United States, contrary to the common myths intentionally disseminated by people promoting high costs for education, the U.S. Department of Education has no legal authority to approve or to recognize accrediting agencies, unless accrediting agency voluntarily agrees to submit itself to the control of this governmental agency.



                    Must read: “United States Department of Education” ->


                    Must read: “Improprieties in Higher Education Affairs” ->

 

This article was adopted from non-copyrighted materials obtained from the United States Department of Education. All Explanatory Notes are protected by copyright law.

Overview of the United States Accreditations

According to the U.S. Department of Education:

"The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.

Accrediting agencies, which are private non-governmental entities, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not educational criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's (accrediting agency - private non-governmental entity) criteria are then "accredited" by that agency".

COMMENTS:

Accreditations in the United States are performed by private non-governmental entities (accrediting agencies that are non-governmental private entities) and not by the U.S. Department of Education. There is no any special approval or recognition procedure for any accrediting agency in the United States. No governmental agency (including the U.S. Department of Education) can influence in any way creation and accreditation work of any accrediting agency.

According to the U.S. Department of Education:

"The U.S. Department of Education does not accredit educational institutions and/or programs. However, the Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies" [See explanation, this form of "recognition" has NO any relevance to the quality or authority of any accrediting agency, it is a recognition related to the acceptance of federal government payments].

"An agency seeking national recognition by the Secretary must meet the Secretary's procedures and criteria for the recognition of accrediting agencies. Some of the criteria for recognition, such as the criterion requiring a link to Federal programs, have no bearing on the quality of an accrediting agency; however, they do have the effect of making some agencies ineligible for recognition for reasons other than quality" [Someone in the U.S. Department of Education created this paragraph in extremely confusing way and educational manipulators are using this not clear statement for their advantage in dissemination of false and incorrect information].

COMMENTS:

The above-stated paragraph was constructed by the U.S. Department of Education in very confusing way by mistake or with some other unknown agenda...

Words used by the U.S. Department of Education, such as "nationally recognized accrediting agencies", have nothing to do with any official form of any 'national recognition' because higher education, as a form of education, is not controlled by any governmental agency in the United States (according to the U.S. laws) and the United States has no any 'national recognitions' for any accreditation agencies. Accreditation agencies (accreditation organizations or companies) are private non-governmental entities that are controlling its own affairs and absolutely do not need any 'national recognition'.

Statement made by the U.S. Department of Education, clearly defines the fact that the U.S. Department of Education ONLY publishes the lists of accrediting agencies that the U.S. Department of Education recognizes. HOWEVER, it "recognizes" an accrediting agency not as an entity that has the ability to perform educational accreditations, or to be an accrediting agency, but it recognizes such accrediting agency as a governmental contractor.

U.S. Department of Education only “recognizes” accrediting agencies for the purposes of accrediting colleges and universities that would be accepting Federal Aid and Federal Loans program payments (payments originating from the federal government - payments made by using the United States taxpayers money).

These "recognitions" are NOT indicating any form of authority, legitimacy or the quality of the involved accrediting agency.

Accrediting agencies are not controlled by the U.S. Department of Education and all accrediting agencies ("recognized" and not recognized by the U.S. Department of Education) have exactly the same legal status to accredit any educational institution in the United States (according to the U.S. laws).

Any person or organization will be disseminating false information if such person or organization would attempt to claim that so-called "national recognition" by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education has any other meaning, except the fact that these "national recognitions" are only "recognitions" to act as a contractor for the federal government and the U.S. Department of Education (representing federal government) on the territory of the United States (national level).

Recognition to act as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Education is necessary to establish legal basis to the issuance of governmental payments (taxpayers' monies) to universities that are accredited by governmental contractors (accredited by accrediting agencies that became governmental contractors and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a governmental contractors). Any independent accreditation agency is not a governmental contractor if it is not on the list of the U.S. Department of education.

Universities that are not accredited by governmental contractors cannot receive money from the federal government; however it is not diminishing quality of universities in any way, it is just telling that universities are not supported by the federal government (and are fully independent).

At the same time, this so-called "national recognition" by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education has NO any connection to the legitimacy of any accrediting agency or the quality of education provided in universities accredited by governmental contractors (accredited by accrediting agencies that became governmental contractors).

By using governmental contractors (accreditation agencies that became governmental contractors and "recognized" only to be governmental contractors), government can prosecute any university for any misappropriation of governmental funds received as payments for the educational services provided to students using governmental programs.

Private universities are not obligated to follow any specific rules established by the federal government because federal government cannot control educational affairs (the same applies for any state government). Any control of educational affairs is prohibited by the United States constitutional provisions (federal law). On this basis, government only can issue payments to universities that would agree to obey at least some rules created by the federal government (for example, non-discrimination, equal access, etc.). Accreditation of universities by governmental contractors (accrediting agencies that became governmental contractors and "recognized" only to be governmental contractors), establishes that necessary legal link for fueling public monies (to pay very often high tuition fees of some universities) into the private and public universities that otherwise are not obligated to follow any governmental rules.

"Recognition" by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education is not a recognition of the legitimacy or the quality of any accrediting agency, BUT ONLY a "recognition" of accrediting agency that became governmental contractors for the purpose of accrediting universities that are accepting payments made by the federal government.

Accrediting agencies are recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education ONLY to be governmental contractors and not as any form of authority.

Word "recognition" created significant confusion because most people are assuming that it is a form of recognition to perform something or to be a better quality.

In reality, it only indicates that accrediting agency entered into the contract (official mutual agreement) with the federal government (the U.S. Department of Education representing federal government).

As a result of this "mutual agreement", accreditation agency voluntarily submits itself to the government control and enters into contract with the federal government to provide accreditations for colleges and universities that would be accepting payments originating from the federal government and at the same time would be following prescribed by the federal government rules, as a necessary condition for the acceptance by colleges and universities (accredited by accreditation agency that is a governmental contractor) payments made by the federal government. 

U.S. Department of Education recognitions are the recognitions not for the quality or the authority of the accrediting agency, but recognitions for the ability (and willingness) to provide accreditations for colleges and universities that would be accepting federal government payments.

Colleges and universities are not obligated to accept any payments from any government.

At the same time, main part of all financial revenues in any high-costs college or university originates in the form of governmental payments for the Federal Aid programs and Federal Educational Loans. Almost all high-priced colleges and universities would NOT be able to exist and would not be able to collect their high tuition costs without accepting payments from the federal government.

Why federal programs are playing such enormous role in high-costs colleges and universities? Only because government provides grants (free money for students) to the needy students and governmental educational loans have lower interest rate. This fact is irrelevant for any educational programs that have minimal costs, but it becomes the most important factor if student needs to pay tuition costs that could be from $20,000 - $50,000 for each year of studies. In this situation, students are receiving federal educational loans and other federal financial aid programs' payments; after that, educational institution collects payments originating from the federal government as a compensation for the provided educational services. Students are obligated to pay back educational loans with interest (low interest rate creates better ability for graduate to pay back large educational loans).

To be able to accept federal government payments, these colleges and universities must be accredited only by the accrediting agencies that are under the control of the U.S. Department of Education (accrediting agencies that became governmental contractors and are "recognized" only to be governmental contractors).

COMMENTS:

As it stated by the U.S. Department of Education, this governmental agency recognizes accrediting agencies, BUT ONLY AS A CONDITION FOR THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE FEDERAL AID AND FEDERAL EDUCATIONAL LOANS PROGRAMS by colleges and universities accredited by accrediting agencies that the U.S. Department of Education recognizes (again, it "recognizes" accrediting agencies only as an agencies accrediting educational institutions accepting monies from the federal government and not because such agencies are some sort of "authority" in the United States).

Main meaning of this scheme is to enable universities and colleges with high tuition costs to maintain their ability to continue collection of high tuition costs by accepting payments from the federal government (payments that are given to students in the form of governmental educational loans and Federal Aid programs).

The U.S. Government has direct responsibility and accountability to the U.S. Public (that creates revenues used by the U.S. Government to finance educational affairs). To be able to make payments from the public monies, government must show to the public that it has some control over the distribution of public monies. At the same time, federal government has no legal status to control universities or accrediting agencies. To overcome this situation (original absence of legal ability to control), government (the U.S. Department of Education) recruits accrediting agencies to voluntarily accept governmental control by entering into agreement with the federal government that in exchange, gives to such accrediting agencies "recognition" for the ability to accredit colleges and universities that as a result of such accreditations will be able to receive payments made by the U.S. federal government (accreditations made by the accrediting agencies that are controlled by the federal government).

THIS EXPLAINS CONFUSION AND ALL THAT "MYSTERY" AROUND SO-CALLED "RECOGNITIONS" MADE BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, where in reality, such "recognitions" are recognitions of nothing related to any educational affairs, but a simple identification of accrediting agencies that entered into the contract with the U.S. Department of Education (that legally cannot control any accrediting agency unless accrediting agency voluntarily agrees to be a subject of control by the U.S. Department of Education). 

COMMENTS:

At present time, many people and organizations are maliciously, frivolously and intentionally are using statements of "recognitions" made by the U.S. Department of Education as a basis for dissemination of false claims that "recognitions" by the U.S. Department of Education are indicators of the ability to perform legitimate accreditations in the United States (when in reality each accrediting agency has the same level of legitimacy to accredit institutions of higher education).

These false claims are intentionally disseminated only to promote high-costs universities and their accrediting agencies that usually have very high accreditation fees (and such accreditation fees are directly incorporated into the tuition costs of universities accredited by expensive accreditation agencies).

Furthermore, these false and malicious claims are intentionally disseminated to deter potential students from seeking legitimate educational institutions that may offer lower educational costs.

Contrary to any such false claims, recognitions made by the U.S. Department of Education are only made to identify accrediting agencies that are providing accreditations for the educational establishments accepting payments made by the U.S. federal government and are not recognitions in any way for any legitimacy or any level of authority.

Recognitions made by the U.S. Department are recognitions of the contractual (agreed in a contract) relationship only.

When the U.S. Department of Education publishes lists of "recognized" accrediting agencies, this list has no any value for the legitimacy of accrediting agency (or for any university accredited by such accredited agency), but only serves as a guidance list for the potential students that are looking for educational institutions that are accepting payments made (or originating) by the federal government. Governmental loans have lower interest rate; accordingly, it is a very important fact for the students attending (or planning to attend) universities with high tuition costs (because almost all students are taking educational loans to pay for high educational costs).

Moreover, the U.S. Department of Education has no legal authority to give any preferential treatment for any accrediting agency (in comparison to other accrediting agencies). Legitimacy and quality of any accrediting agency is not established by the U.S. Department of Education, but established by the acts of an accrediting agency.

IT ALSO CLEARLY PROVIDED by the U.S. Department of Education that such “recognitions have no bearing on the quality of an accrediting agency". However, it is not stopping educational manipulators from continuation of incorrect information dissemination. 

In simplified words, because the U.S. Department of Education is the federal government agency, it serves as an assurance agency for the purpose of federal monies distribution. All recognitions are not the “recognitions” of the accrediting agency's quality or legitimacy, but recognitions for the facts that such agency (as a governmental contractor) will follow rules and regulations prescribed by the federal government (U.S. Department of Education).

Any college or university that desires to be paid by the U.S. taxpayers' monies (in the form of Federal Educational Loans and Federal Aid programs) must be accredited by the accrediting agency that entered into contractual relationship with the U.S. Department of Education. In this way, accrediting agency serves as a contractor for the U.S. federal government. However, it is not a contract for any privileged status of the accrediting agency, but this contract enables the U.S. government to prosecute wrongdoers for any violations of contractual relationship. These arrangements are creating "doctrine of accountability" and legal basis for the governmental actions related to the prosecution of parties involved in any misappropriation of public monies by the involved educational institutions (and many educational institutions and persons were prosecuted and/or penalized based on these arrangements).

"Taxpayers' monies" are the "key-words" of all these so called “recognitions” made by the U.S. Department of Education (representing federal government). Federal Aid and Federal Educational Loans programs are nothing more, but payments made from the U.S. taxpayers' monies because not the government, but taxpayers are the real owners of these funds that are used for the Federal Aid and Federal Educational Loans programs. When public monies (taxpayers' monies) are involved, government needs assurance that the U.S. public would not be discriminated or abused by colleges and universities that are making billions of dollars, thriving and prospering only because they are collecting and are supported by public monies.

Colleges and Universities that are not accepting any payments from the federal government (Federal Aid and Federal Educational Loans programs) have no need to be accredited, or can be accredited by any accreditation agency independent from the U.S. Department of Education (because relationship with this governmental entity is not an indicator of any authority or the quality of education, but an indicator of the voluntarily submission to the federal government control).

By provisions of law, federal government (U.S. Department of Education as a part of the U.S. federal government) in the United States cannot control higher education, unless educational institution and/or accrediting agency agreed to accept governmental control. When educational institution starts accepting monies from the federal government, it becomes a subordinate entity that is under the control of the government.

Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Education is not regulatory, but only informative branch of the federal government. This explains the fact that the U.S. Department of Education needs voluntary submission of any accrediting agency, before the U.S. Department of Education can exercise any form of control [that is called "recognition"] over accrediting agency and any university that is accredited by such governmental contractor. It is not difficult to obtain voluntary submission of any accrediting agency because it is a very profitable business to perform accreditations for the universities collecting federal government payments.

Therefore, any "recognitions" made by the U.S. Department of Education serve no any legitimate purpose for any accrediting agency that accredits colleges and universities that are not accepting payments made by the U.S. federal government.

In addition, any "recognitions" made by the U.S. Department of Education not only totally useless and absolutely not needed for any accrediting agency that accredits colleges and universities that are not accepting payments made by the U.S. federal government, it also places any accrediting agency and any college or university accredited by such accrediting agency into position of losing its protected independence and would subject such college, university and all students to the governmental control, monitoring and governmental collection of information about students and about educational institution.

Historically, universities were designated to be creators of the human intelligence (based on the principles of education) and when such creative activities are monitored by governmental agencies (that always have political agendas), these universities are loosing its original independence and in the same way, are loosing free and unbiased educational spirit. 

It gets even more complicated when accrediting agencies "recognized" (controlled and monitored) by the U.S. Department of Education are attempting to increase its influence by promoting their services for potential accreditations of foreign educational establishments.

Recipients of these "government controlled accreditations" are not realizing that they are not getting only the "American accreditation", but they are subjecting themselves to the monitoring activities conducted by unrelated to them government.

It makes especially questionable affair for any educational institutions located outside of the United States (foreign institutions) to use any accrediting agencies "recognized" by the U.S. Department of Education for accreditations of their colleges and universities, because such colleges and universities (located outside of the United States) would fall into the control, collection of information and monitoring by unrelated foreign government. This fact can affect national security and can undermine national sovereignty doctrine.

The best approach for all educational institutions located outside of the United States is not to use any accrediting agencies that are under the control of the U.S. Department of Education.

The best and the most secure approach for any foreign colleges and universities that desire to have institutional or programmatic accreditation originated from the accrediting agency based in the United States, is to use services of reliable accreditation agency that is fully independent from any governmental influence.

Accreditation Council for Educational Standards of Schools and Universities™ is willing to provide fully independent accreditation services that are not influenced by any government or by any political agenda.

More about U.S. Accreditations

According to the U.S. Department of Education: 

"The United States has no federal Ministry of Education or other centralized authority exercising single national control over postsecondary (higher) educational institutions in this country."

"In general, institutions of higher education are permitted to operate with considerable independence and autonomy. As a consequence, American educational institutions can vary widely in the character and quality of their programs".

"In order to insure a basic level of quality, the practice of accreditation arose in the United States as a means of conducting nongovernmental, peer evaluation of educational institutions and programs".

"The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are private non-governmental entities, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not educational criteria are met".

"Institutions and/or programs that request an [accrediting] agency's evaluation and that meet an [accrediting] agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency."

"Accreditation does not provide automatic acceptance by an institution of credit earned at another institution, nor does it give assurance of acceptance of graduates by employers. Acceptance of credits or graduates is always the prerogative of the receiving institution or employer." 

'Private educational associations of regional or national scope have adopted criteria reflecting the qualities of a sound educational program and have developed procedures for evaluating institutions or programs to determine whether or not they are operating at basic levels of quality'.  

Some Functions of Accreditation

1.  Verifying that an institution or program meets established standards;

2.  Assisting prospective students in identifying acceptable institutions;

3.   Assisting institutions in determining the acceptability of transfer credits;

4.   Helping to identify institutions and programs for the investment of public and private funds;

5.   Protecting an institution against harmful internal and external pressure;

6.   Creating goals for self-improvement of weaker programs and stimulating a general raising of standards among educational institutions;

7.   Involving the faculty and staff comprehensively in institutional evaluation and planning;

8.   Establishing criteria for professional certification and licensure and for upgrading courses offering such preparation;  

9.   Providing one of several considerations used as a basis for determining eligibility for Federal assistance.

Accreditation Procedure

1.   Standards: The accrediting agency, in collaboration with educational institutions, establishes standards.

2.   Self-study: The institution or program seeking accreditation prepares an in-depth self-evaluation study that measures its performance against the standards established by the accrediting agency.

3.   On-site Evaluation: A team selected by the accrediting agency visits the institution or program to determine first-hand if the applicant (institution) meets the established standards.

4.   Publication: Upon being satisfied that the applicant meets its standards, the accrediting agency grants accreditation or pre-accreditation status and lists the institution or program in an official publication with other similarly accredited or pre-accredited institutions or programs.

5.   Monitoring: The accrediting agency monitors each accredited institution or program throughout the period of accreditation granted to verify that it continues to meet the agency's standards.

6.   Reevaluation: The accrediting agency periodically reevaluates each institution or program that it lists to ascertain whether continuation of its accredited or pre-accredited status is warranted.

Types of Accreditations

"There are two basic types of educational accreditation, one referred to as "institutional" and the other referred to as "specialized" or "programmatic."

Institutional accreditation normally applies to an entire institution, indicating that each of an institution's parts is contributing to the achievement of the institution's objectives, although not necessarily all at the same level of quality.

The various commissions of the regional accrediting agencies, for example, perform institutional accreditation, as do many national accrediting agencies.

Specialized or programmatic accreditation normally applies to programs, departments, or schools that are parts of an institution. The accredited unit may be as large as a college or school within a university or as small as a curriculum within a discipline. Most of the specialized or programmatic accrediting agencies review units within an institution of higher education that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies. However, certain accrediting agencies also accredit professional schools and other specialized or vocational institutions of higher education that are freestanding in their operations. Thus, a "specialized" or "programmatic" accrediting agency may also function in the capacity of an "institutional" accrediting agency. In addition, a number of specialized accrediting agencies accredit educational programs within non-educational settings, such as hospitals".

COMMENTS:

Submission to the U.S. Department of Education for recognition of accrediting bodies (accreditation agencies or accreditation organizations) for the accreditation of institutions of higher (postsecondary) education, is not obligatory but strictly voluntarily process (process made on the basis of FREE WILL of the accrediting agency and not as any form of obligation).

All accrediting bodies (accreditation agencies or accreditation organizations) established for the accreditation of institutions of higher (postsecondary) education can operate fully (and without any restrictions) without any recognition or any form of approval from the U.S. Department of Education.

Accrediting agency's recognition by the U.S. Department of Education required ONLY if educational institution (accredited by accrediting agency) accepts payments from the federal assistance programs (accepts monies from the federal government). 

Also note that any accrediting agency becomes a subordinate of the U.S. government at the moment when such accrediting agency agrees to be "recognized" by the U.S. Department of Education (recognized as a contractor of the federal government). It is a recognition not for any form of authority or legitimacy of involved accrediting agency, but a recognition of the established control originating from the U.S. government.  

According to the U.S. Department of Education: 

"The Department’s recognition of accrediting agencies does not extend to the accreditation an agency may grant to foreign institutions or programs".

COMMENTS:

The U.S. Department of Education "recognition" of an accrediting agency has no relevance to any accreditations that accrediting agency may grant to foreign institutions or programs (located outside of the United States), because these programs cannot accept educational payments from the U.S. government (unless there is some special agreement).

At the same time, if foreign educational institutions or programs are accredited by the accrediting agencies that are under the control of the U.S. Department of Education, such foreign educational institutions or programs (colleges and universities located outside of the United States) would fall into the indirect control, collection of intelligent information and monitoring by unrelated to them foreign government (this fact can affect national security of governments that are unrelated to the U.S., it also can undermine national sovereignty doctrine).

According to the U.S. Department of Education: 

"Accreditation does not provide automatic acceptance by an institution of credit earned at another institution, nor does it give assurance of acceptance of graduates by employers. Acceptance of credit or graduates is always the prerogative of the receiving institution or employer".

COMMENTS:

This statement made by the U.S. Department of Education is self-explanatory and needs no additional comments.

 

Relevant pages:

“Accreditations in the United States” ->

“United States Department of Education” ->

“Improprieties in Higher Education Affairs” ->

“Educational Manipulations in the United States” ->

“Educational Manipulations and Deceptive advertisements” ->

 

 

LEGAL: © 1991-2019. All contents, service marks and trademarks appearing on this website are protected by copyright, trademark and other applicable laws. Copying, distributing or taking any actions regarding contents of this website is strictly prohibited without written permission of administrative representatives responsible for this site.