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Author: Better Business Bureau
Colleges and Universities
The goal of academic accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Academic Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then accredited by that agency.
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 that the Secretary determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit. More information can be obtained through www.ed.gov
Vocational schools should be academically accredited, just as any other educational institution should be. Many skills taught by vocational schools require graduates to be licensed; accordingly, a requirement of many tests is graduation from an accredited institution. Academic Accreditation ensures that skills are being learned from a reliable source; that the education is sound and of good quality. Additionally, employers often will not consider graduates from unaccredited institutions for employment.
Public & Private Schools
More information can be found at www.accsct.org/ and www.ed.gov
For information on your local public schools please visit your state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
In New England the New England Association of Schools and Colleges provides academic accreditation services to more than 2,000 public and private schools; PreK through University.
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