By Christina Jasinski, MBA
Accreditation is a voluntary process undertaken by a school to demonstrate compliance with specific standards intended to indicate a level of educational quality. There are two types of accreditations: Institutional and Programmatic. Institutional accre-
ditation involves a comprehensive review of the entire school and Programmatic accreditation provides eligibility for graduates to sit for various credentialing exams. Thus, when a school in the United States is accredited, it means that it has passed a set of criteria stipulated by an accrediting agency.
The U.S. Department of Education maintains a list of accreditation organizations that meet federal standards and a list of schools that have been accredited by those groups on their database www.ed.gov. Two leaders in health education accreditation are www.abhes.org and www.caahep.org. Accredited schools also participate in Federal grants and loans which are available to eligible students.
Accreditation is important because it assures the school or program have been evaluated and have met accepted standards established by and with the profession. Graduates employment opportunities are enhanced as it assures prospective employers that the student meets the skills and required. In researching schools, students should strongly consider the benefits of attending an accredited school to further their education and advance their career.
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