Accreditation is a voluntary, peer review process. It serves 4 main purposes: (1) to assure quality to the public, (2) to ease student transfer between institutions by signaling quality, (3) provides institutions with access to federal financial aid, and (4) certifies a graduate’s credentials to employers.
An “accredited” university meets the Standards for Accreditation established by an accrediting agency. The Standards ensure that an institution has appropriate and clear goals, sufficient resources to achieve them, is fulfilling its objectives, and will continue to do so.
The process provides colleges and universities with an opportunity for reflection, honest assessment of strengths and weaknesses, along with a chance to develop strategies for continued improvement.