What is accreditation?
Accreditation bodies are organizations that audit a school’s ability to deliver quality programs. In the US, accreditation bodies are typically private peer-reviewed organizations while in other parts of the world, government agencies may serve as accreditation bodies. Once a school gains accreditation, they will still need to be reviewed every few years to maintain their accreditation. Attending a school with solid accreditation ensures that your degree and course credits will be recognized worldwide by other schools and employers.
Regional accreditation in the United States
When it comes to schools in the US, a good rule of thumb is to see if the school has regional accreditation. There are 6 regional accreditors, and these bodies are recognized by the US Department of Education and the international Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
- SACS (Southern Association of Schools and Colleges)
- NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges)
- NWCCU (Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges)
- NCA (North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement)
- WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges)
- MSA (Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges)
Not all accreditations are created equal
In the US alone, there are dozens of accreditation agencies. However, not all accreditations are recognized. A good resource to investigate whether your school’s accreditation is recognized is to look it up on the CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation). as well as the Department of Education. Our growing database of online schools offering health administration programs lists accreditation information for each school.