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Institutional vs. Program Accreditation: How Are They Different?


Headed to college? When looking at various universities and colleges, the first thing that you should consider is whether they are accredited. When you are attending an accredited institution, you can have the peace of mind knowing that you are getting a high-quality education. This is also important for future employment–when employers see that you come from an accredited institution, they can be reassured that you have all of the required skills and knowledge so that you can perform the job well.

However, did you know that there are two types of accreditation? To avoid confusion, Voltaire Healthcare Consultant, a premier health care consultant in Miami Gardens, FL, can distinguish the two for you.

Institutional vs. Program Accreditation
Here are the key differences between an institutional accreditation vs. a program accreditation:

  • Institutional Accreditation. An institutional accreditation means that the entire school is accredited. This adds a level of credibility to the institution as a whole. Institutional accreditation can be provided by a regional or national accreditation group. The U.S. is divided into 6 geographic regions and each region has its own accrediting organization. The 6 regional accreditors in the U.S. are Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

    Note: Only those accrediting groups acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Education are considered legitimate.

  • Programmatic Accreditation. Unlike an institutional accreditation, a programmatic accreditation focuses on accrediting individual programs within a school, rather than the whole institution. Program accreditors typically evaluate the curriculum, students, faculty, administrative structure, and resources available. Accreditation groups want to ensure that all students have access to the same standard of support, supervision, access, and advisement to appropriate program resources.

    Note: If the program that you are interested in is accredited but the institution that offers it is not, don’t immediately disregard them. Remember, institutional accreditation can be quite costly and challenging, and most schools choose to accredit individual programs instead.

As a premier provider of health care consulting services, we can help you better understand the accreditation process and which type of accreditation best suits your needs. Give us a feedback on how we can be of help to you today.

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