Midle State Commission on Higher Education
U.S. Department of education/Midle State Commission
There are several national accretating bodies for specialized types of Colleges, such as:
The Accrediting Association for Bible Colleges
National Association for School of Art & Design
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary process of self-regulation and peer review adopted by the educational community. Institutions of higher education have voluntarily entered into associations to evaluate each other in accord with an institution’s stated goals. Non-accredited institutions must be able to demonstrate that they possess certain “characteristics of quality” before they are allowed to become members of the association of accredited institutions.
Types of accreditation
Institutional accreditation: Most accreditation is institutional, meaning an entire college is accredited. This gives credibility to the college as a whole. This type of accreditation can be given by either a “regional accreditation agency” or a “national accreditation agency.” The United States is divided into 6 regions—each with a regional accrediting body. The one for Maryland is the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. There are several national accrediting bodies for specialized types of colleges, such as the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges.
Specialized and programmatic accreditation: Certain specialized professional programs are accredited independently of their parent institution. There are specialized accrediting bodies for these programs—such as the International Association for Management Education and the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
The only legitimate accrediting organizations are those recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Are all State-approved colleges accredited?
No! State approval assures that colleges and universities have satisfied certain minimum requirements established by the State for all degree-granting institutions operating in Maryland. Accreditation goes beyond this to assure that an institution has attained a level of quality recognized by other colleges and universities of the same type.
Questions about accreditation?
If you are uncertain about the accreditation status of a college or university, you should ask the institution for the address and phone number of their accrediting body. You can also address questions to the Department of Collegiate Affairs.