What is Accreditation
“Accreditation” is review of the quality of higher education institutions and programs. In the United States, accreditation is a major way that students, families, government officials, and the press know that an institution and/or program provides a quality education. Click here to learn more about how accreditation serves students, society, and the public interest.
- A voluntary quality assurance process
- A peer review course of action
- A method of validation
- Recognition that an institution/program has met standards set forth by the peer reviewing body
Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
The CAATE is recognized as an accrediting agency by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA). CHEA is a national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation. CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accreditation organizations, including CAATE. More information about CHEA can be accessed here.
Who are Accreditors?
Colleges and universities are accredited by regional accreditors. In the U.S., colleges and universities are accredited by one of 19 recognized institutional accrediting organizations. Programs are accredited by one of approximately 60 recognized programmatic accrediting organizations. [Accrediting organizations that are “recognized” have been reviewed for quality by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE).] To access CHEA’s list of recognized accreditors click here.
Programs are accredited by specialty accreditors. Programs are accredited by one of approximately 60 recognized programmatic accrediting organizations. [Accrediting organizations that are “recognized” have been reviewed for quality by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the United States Department of Education (USDE).] To access CHEA’s list of recognized accreditors click here.
In their quest for higher education and training, students and the public in the United States sometimes encounter “diploma mills”—dubious providers of educational offerings or operations that offer certificates and degrees that are considered bogus. They may also encounter “accreditation mills”—dubious providers of accreditation and quality assurance or operations that offer a certification of quality of institutions that is considered bogus. Be sure the institution you are interested in attending is accredited. Information on Degree and Accreditation Mills may be found through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Look for this seal to indicate that a program is accredited by CAATE:
Or the new seal as of July 2019:
CAATE Complaint Process
Formal complaints to the CAATE must pertain to matters related to program compliance with the Standards. Complaints may be filed by the program’s stakeholders including individuals, students, groups, or organizations related to the program.
The CAATE will not intercede in institutional student or faculty grievances against a program. Appropriate institutional and professional avenues of appeal must be used by complainants, before filing a formal complaint. The program’s institution assumes responsibility for administering their own policies in these areas. When alleged violations cannot be resolved within the institution, procedures within state systems of higher education or state judicial courts should be used to review and enforce institutional compliance with policies.
The CAATE will keep a complainant’s identity confidential if requested, but will not accept anonymous complaints. All complaints must be submitted in writing to the CAATE Office via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Click HERE to access the complaint process instructions.