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What Is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a systematic and ongoing process that provides a recognized and objective assessment of an institution's quality, competence, and adherence to established standards. It plays a vital role in ensuring and promoting excellence and accountability in various sectors, benefiting both the institutions being accredited and the constituents they serve.

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Steps to Accreditation


Initial Inquiry


Submit Application -demonstrate compliance with IERs




Accreditation Commission Appearance


Application Orientation - overview of IER and suggested documentation


Self-study Proposal


Evaluation Team Visit & Response



If you want more detailed information about each step, please visit our Resource Page.

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Comparison of Accreditation in the USA versus other countries

Aspect of Accreditation
Other Countries
Documentation and Evaluation

Extensive documentation, site visits, peer reviews

Varies in documentation and evaluation methods

Purpose of Accreditation

Quality assurance, federal funding eligibility, accountability

Primarily quality assurance, standards compliance, and accountability

Transparency and Reporting

Transparent, public availability of accreditation status

Transparency practices vary

Accreditation Models

Voluntary, peer-review model

May be mandatory for institutions or follow a voluntary model

Professional Licensure

Important for some professions (e.g., law, medicine)

May or may not be linked to professional licensure requirements

Accreditation Cycles

Typically 10-year cycles, with periodic reviews

Duration and requirements vary widely

Regulatory Oversight

U.S. Department of Education, Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)

Varies by country, can be government agencies or independent bodies

Recognition and Transferability

Globally recognized, credits often transfer easily

Recognition and transferability can vary; may require additional evaluation

Accreditation Impact

Credibility, eligibility for federal funding, transferability

Credibility, quality assurance, access to certain benefits and resources

Cultural and Regional Factors

Influenced by institutional autonomy and diversity

Reflects unique cultural and educational contexts

Compliance with Standards

Important for federal funding and accountability

Important for quality assurance and regulatory compliance

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Start your accreditation journey with TRACS!

Get started by submitting this contact form. A follow-up email will provide access to resources and instructions for continuing the process

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