What is Accreditation?

When considering different schools and their programs, one important factor is accreditation. Accreditation is the process of certifying an institution based on formal standards of quality. Accrediting agencies are membership-based organizations that ensure institutions have qualified faculty, proper curricula, and resources and support necessary to provide a quality education.

Accreditation is so highly valued because obtaining it is a lengthy, detailed, and thorough process that examines all aspects of an institution. The process can take up to several years involving a self-assessment and external accrediting agency assessment. The evaluation includes organization, administration, student relations, tuition, student services, educational activities, instructional faculty, educational facilities, publications, and library resources, and must also show growth in program quality. Re-evaluation occurs every several years, so you can be assured that a program’s quality will meet and maintain accreditation standards.

The American National University campus in Salem, VA has been institutionally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), while the Louisville and Pikeville campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Both accreditors are listed by the U. S. Department of Education as recognized accrediting agencies. DEAC is also recognized by the independent Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Accreditation can be categorized as either programmatic or institutional. While ANU’s DEAC and ABHES accreditation applies to all the degree and diploma programs offered by the university, programmatic accreditation is an optional, additional level applicable only to specific degree programs. Many programs, due to their highly technical nature, benefit from program-specific review and approval by specialized accrediting bodies, though programmatic accreditation for some fields does not exist. When programmatic accreditation is required for necessary certification in a particular filed, it is the practice of ANU to seek such accreditation.

Programmatic accreditation has been granted to the following ANU programs: Health Information Management (CAHIIM), Medical Assisting (CAAHEP), and Pharmacy Technician diploma and associate’s degree (PTAC).  In addition, though not formally accredited by these organizations, ANU’s paralegal programs are approved by the American Bar Association, while the associate degree in nursing program is approved by the Kentucky Board of Nursing.  The additional level of quality assessment conveyed by programmatic accreditation or approval is further assurance of educational excellence for prospective students.

American National University, founded in 1886, provides a wide variety of academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the fields of health science, business, legal studies, and information technology.  Through its Global eUniversity, ANU reaches students around the world, allowing them to attend live, interactive classes from anywhere.  Learn more at www.an.edu.

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