Accreditation and Affiliations
Overview of Accreditation
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accreditation in the United States involves non-governmental entities as well as governmental agencies.
Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency.
The United States has no federal Ministry of Education or other centralized authority exercising single national control over postsecondary educational institutions in this country. The states assume varying degrees of control over education, but, in general, institutions of higher education are permitted to operate with considerable independence and autonomy.
In order to insure a basic level of quality, the practice of accreditation arose in the United States as a means of conducting nongovernmental, peer evaluation of educational institutions and programs. Private educational associations of regional or national scope have adopted criteria reflecting the qualities of a sound educational program and have developed procedures for evaluating institutions or programs to determine whether or not they are operating at basic levels of quality
The U.S. Department of Education does not accredit educational institutions and/or programs. However, the Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that the Secretary determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit.
The Taft University System, is institutionally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. On June 14, 2013 the Commission voted to extend its accreditation until 2018. This action was taken after consideration of an extensive self-study prepared by The Taft University System and the report of a site visitation team that included representatives of both regionally and American Bar Association accredited schools. The five-year extension is the maximum permissible under DEAC standards.
The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (www.deac.org) is a non-profit section 501(c) (6) educational association located in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1926 to promote sound educational standards and ethical business practices within the correspondence field. The independent nine-member Accrediting Commission of the DEAC was established in 1955. Shortly thereafter it gained the approval of the U.S. Department of Education as a "nationally recognized accrediting agency" under federal law. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) also recognizes the Accrediting Commission.
The DEAC is a voluntary, non-governmental, educational organization that operates the nationally recognized accrediting association, the DEAC. The DEAC defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence in distance education institutions. The Commission is dedicated to fostering quality assurance, protection of the rights of the students and institutional self-improvement through voluntary accreditation via peer evaluation. DEAC accreditation aims to instill public confidence in DEAC institutions' missions, goals, performances, and resources through rigorous application and peer-developed accreditation standards.
With its 80-plus years of history and its highly refined and federally recognized accreditation program, DEAC offers distance learning institutions the most current, relevant and practical services for the 21st Century.
Distance Education Accrediting Commission
1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone: (202) 234 - 5100
Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
The Taft University System is an institutional member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CHEA is a non-profit organization serving as the national advocate for voluntary accreditation and quality assurance to the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of Education.
CHEA has produced a document that outlines what accreditation is and the value of accreditation to students.
American Council on Education (ACE)
The Taft University System is an institutional member of the American Council on Education (ACE).
Membership in the American Council on Education is open to accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities, and higher education associations located within the United States. ACE speaks as higher education's voice in matters of public policy in Washington DC and throughout the nation.
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
The Taft University System is an institutional member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). AACRAO is a non-profit, professional association of higher education administrators. Its goal is to foster the professional development of its individual members by providing guidelines and voluntary standards for best practices in records management, admissions, enrollment management, administrative information technology, and student services. Institutional membership is limited to nationally or regionally accredited colleges or universities.