Educational Accreditation

Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the appropriate agency.

In the United States a quality assurance process exists that is independent of government and performed by private non-profit organizations. Those organizations are formally called accreditors. All accreditors in the US must in turn be recognized by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), which is an advisory body to the U.S. Secretary of Education, in order to receive federal funding and any other type of federal recognition. Therefore, the federal government is the principal architect and controlling authority of accreditation. The U.S. accreditation process was developed in the late 19th century and early 20th century after educational institutions perceived a need for improved coordination and articulation between secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, along with standardization of requirements between the two levels.

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