How Do American Colleges Become Accredited?

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When you are searching for colleges, you will want to check whether the college or university is accredited. Accreditation has its benefits to both the college and you, the student. To be an accredited college, they have to go through a lengthy process. You should know what the process is for accreditation, to better judge the program you will be attending.

What Agencies Are Involved With Accreditation?

Accreditation starts with the college or university. They have to form a team to gather the information necessary, like the Grand Canyon University accreditation team. This team works directly with the agency that reviews the information to see if the college is worthy of accreditation. This agency can be one of the regional teams governed by the Council of Higher Education, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education.

What Is Needed for Accreditation?

The agency that is doing the evaluation reviews the school’s finances, graduation requirements, degree requirements, student work samples, and the faculty. The review of these materials takes a while, which is why some schools will announce candidacy for accreditation before the process is complete.


What Is an On-Site Review?

Members of the accreditation committee conduct an on-site review. If they are doing a review of say, the Grand Canyon University accreditation, they would go to the university and inspect every aspect of the program they are reviewing. Some teams will even attend classes, speak to students and teachers, and review the facilities.

Once the review is complete, the review board decides. The school either becomes accredited, or they have to fix the issues the review board found.

There are many benefits to attending an accredited college or university. When a school has this honor, you know that the Department of Education approves of the school or its programs. You can also transfer your credits to any school with a similarly accredited program rather than take the courses again.

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