A college is regionally accredited when it meets numerous regulatory and peer review-based standards as set out by an accreditation commission that oversees the colleges within a specific region. The accreditation process is designed to improve the quality of institutions of higher learning.
Seven commissions that operate in six geographic regions and cover approximately 3,000 colleges and universities handle regional accreditation. Over 100 full-time employees and 3,500 volunteers serve on associated teams and the commissions, which include college presidents, faculty, finance experts and academic officers. The process is self-regulatory and seeks to oversee the quality of community colleges, state colleges, religious institutions and military academies.