Accreditation is a way of assuring that the degree you are in right now is legitimate for your future employers' and graduate school's acceptance. Accreditation agencies help the government in providing and maintaining quality education for its people. These non-local government institutions are deemed responsible for accrediting state colleges and universities all over the country, including their professional and academic programs and even online degree courses (as it is becoming a trend nowadays). The Department of Education also evaluates these institutions from time to time in order to check cohesion and adherence to the standards and established practices. They also evaluate accreditation courses and distance learning accreditation. Aside from national evaluation, an institution (e.g. school, hospital, college, national university, etc.) also undergoes regional assessment programs.
An accreditation is like a jury on a specific school's legitimacy. An independent accreditation council usually makes a careful review of a school to check if it meets the established standards. A certification is always issued after a university passes a certain type of accreditation. Not only that, accreditation also strengthens an institution's reputation of providing quality education to its countrymen.
How does the entire process usually work?
- An accrediting agency is responsible for preparing its own evaluation program, rules and procedures. Their guidelines must agree with the national standards that have been set by the federal government.
- The agency then organizes a team of experts to go over the evaluation process, visit several universities and make their own detailed report as per arranged guidelines.
- After thorough evaluation and study, the agency then decides on accrediting a specific program or institution. Some program accreditation courses undergo a pre-accreditation phase before an accreditation can be given.
Here are some specialized accreditation programs for medical institutions:
- Accrediting Bureaus for Health Education Schools. abhes.org. Their headquarters is located at Falls Church, Virginia. These accreditation schools cover institutions in the USA that offers health allied educational programs such as medical technician, surgical technology programs, and other medical occupational degrees.
- Accreditation Commission of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture. acaom.org. They cover professional certifications and degree programs specializing in Oriental medicine and acupuncture. Their main office is in Greenbelt, Maryland.
- Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Health Care Services. This is one of the major accrediting organizations in the country today. They include evaluating hospitals, long term rehabilitation, psychiatric facilities and ambulatory healthcare. They three major accreditation programs are HAS (Hospital Accreditation Services), AP/LTC (Accreditation Program for Long Term Care) and BHC (Accreditation Program for Behavioral Health Care).
- National Association of Nurses in Women's Health
- National Accreditation Committee on Medical Education
- Accreditation Committee of Allied Health Care Educational Programs
- Commission on Nursing Education
- Commission on Optician Association
- Accreditation Committee on Massage Therapy
You can always find links to these accreditation agencies online. You may type in the keywords "medical accreditation" and then click on some of the recommended links in Google. So before you plan to get an online degree, be sure to search for online accredited universities.