OTHER INDEPENDENT AGENCIES OF EDUCATION ACCREDITATION
Independent accreditation arose in the XXth Century because colleges and universities recognized the need to establish standards for admission and transferability of credit. Other accreditation initiatives followed, in which specific disciplines and professions began to implement their own programs to ensure that education quality standards were met and to prevent unacceptable practices.
As it evolved, accreditation became one of three major processes higher education uses to maintain public accountability as it improves its education quality and usefulness to society. The other two processes are: legal authorization or regulation, through compliance with government laws, and statutes; and competition, through success in the marketplace. Whereas regulation concentrates on compliance, and competition on marketability, only accreditation focuses on the integrity of the academic program, and the quality of the education.
Accreditation is an institutional procedure that universities seek to complete in order to bring their academic programs up to education quality standards. The process of accreditation is non-governmental and voluntary; that is, universities appear before a private, regional or professional association (the one to which they wish to belong) and submit an application. The accrediting institution then carries out an overall assessment of the institution, and if the results are satisfactory, the school is accredited.
Accreditation reflects the comparative advantages of numerous and diverse institutions and methods of higher education, and respects its core values of autonomy, self-governance, scholarship, and the assurance of academic quality through peer review. Today, higher education quality is emerging as a diverse, competitive, decentralized “system,” with vibrant private and public sectors in which colleges and universities enjoy comparatively high autonomy.
In responding to the multiple imperatives that drive our global knowledge-based economy and society, national governments recognize the need for higher education quality, but they do not have the means to cope with the fast and evolving educational initiatives developed by a globalized private sector. Independent accreditation becomes a major instrument to ensure education quality in world dominated by open frontiers and information technologies.
Employers, parents, students, and others look to accrediting organizations for consistent and reliable information about educational institutions. There is no single model to ensures education quality, institutional accountability and accreditation. What is essential to recognize is that in a global village, accreditation does take on many forms. The perception by Americans who promote US accreditation as the “gold standard” dismiss a growing and major impact international schools are having on the future of global higher education. What institutions of higher learning should be considering is not adding one or even two or three local accreditations in their home nation, but multiple, multinational accreditation globally.
An Education Accreditation and a seal of Education Quality (EQ) for Institutions of Education, Colleges & Universities from the entire world.
The Confederation of International Accreditation Commission-CIAC is ready and willing to assist in providing global accreditation to any college or university willing to prepare a Self Study Report. What institutions of higher learning should be considering is not adding more local accreditations in their home nation, but a truly international accreditation standard that may serve in the global market arena.