American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Why Does Accreditation Matter?

What is accreditation? How does accreditation help students and parents make informed decisions? Why is it important to know more about accrediting agencies?

"Ask Before You Decide: Accreditation Matters" [PDF] is a new brochure developed by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in collaboration with several accrediting agencies, which offers clear answers to these important questions and will help students, parents, and the public understand the value of accreditation and the importance of knowing the accreditation status before making any decisions on whether to attend an institution or a program.

"The Value of Accreditation," now on YouTube, describes the value of accreditation from the perspective of students, institutional administrators, and accreditors and was produced by the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA).

Degree Mills and Accreditation Mills—In the United States, degrees and certificates from degree mills may not be acknowledged by other institutions when students seek to transfer or go to graduate school. "Accreditation" from an accreditation mill can mislead students and the public about the quality of an institution. In the presence of degree mills and accreditation mills, students may spend a good deal of money and receive neither an education nor a useable credential. CHEA compiled resources to warn potential students and the public about degree mills and accreditation mills. Both CHEA and the Secretary of U.S. Department of Education publish lists of the accrediting agencies each recognizes.

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