Universities in the United States typically become accredited in a 6-step process: standards, self-study, on-site evaluation, publication, monitoring and reevaluation, states the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation in the U.S. is a way for educational associations to peer evaluation colleges to ensure a basic level of quality. An entire college can receive accreditation, known as institutional, or a specific department or program can receive accreditation, known as programmatic.
The typical process of accreditation consists of the following steps:
- Set standards
- Self-study by the university
- Onsite evaluation by the accreditation organization
- Publication of accreditation
- Monitoring by the accreditation organization
- Reevaluation of the university
The accreditation organization sets the standards for which a university may become accredited.
The university verifies that it meets the standards set by the organization by preparing an in-depth study of its institution.
The accreditation organization sends a team to visit the university to confirm that it meets the standards set by the agency.
After the visit is complete, if the accreditation organization grants preaccreditation or accreditation, the university will be listed in an official publication.
The accreditation that a university receives is typically for a set period of time. The accreditation organization will monitor the school during this time to ensure that it continues to meet standards.
The university will be reevaluated to determine whether its accreditation can continue.