What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is the process used to ensure that universities meet and maintain
minimum standards for academics and administration.
The are two types of accreditation:
Institutional accreditation guarantees the overall quality of a
university as a whole.
Specialized accreditation guarantees the quality of individual programs
or schools within a university.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation has two main purposes.
It ensures the quality of a university or specific program
Accreditation assures students, governments, and the public that a university
or program has met the accreditor’s requirements and will continue to do
It provides a university or program the opportunity to improve
The accreditation process is an opportunity for a university or program
to evaluate its activities, policies, and procedures to identify areas
Accreditation is also important for students
Accreditation is important for students seeking financial aid, transferring
to another university, or applying to graduate school. Many universities
and financial aid organizations will only accept applications from students
at accredited institutions.
Who Accredits Universities?
Several regional and national accreditors provide institutional accreditation
to colleges and universities across the country.
The Higher Learning Commission accredits WVU.
Professional associations typically provide specialized accreditation to individual
programs, schools, or units within a university. For example, the American
Bar Association accredits WVU’s College of Law.
More Information About Accreditation
Great resources for understanding accreditation in the United States are: