Start Your Journey with ICS--Enroll Today!

Accreditation continued

Higher education accreditation in the US is a peer review process that began in the late 1800s. The federal government became involved with the accreditation process when the GI Bill legislation was in review in 1952. The result:  students could only use the GI Bill at accredited institutions included on a list published by the US Commissioner of Education. Accreditation is overseen by the US Department of Education (DOE) and a non-government body called the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Regional Accreditation

  • 98% nonprofit & degree granting
  • Academically oriented
  • More strict oversight/requirements
  • Institutions based on geographic region
  • 98% successful credit transfer

The six regional accreditors are:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission


In 1974, The American Council on Education created the College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT) program to award college credit to formal training taken outside a traditional degree-granting program. 

American Council on Education (ACE) Accreditation 

  • Transfer credits accepted at over 90% of all Regionally Accredited institutions
  • Students transcripts reflect an ACE pass or fail recommendation
  • Does not affect grade point average
  • Programs include:

“ACE has played a major role in shaping higher education in the United States for more than a century.  Since its founding in 1918, ACE has spearheaded programs, advocated for legislation, and led initiatives that have shaped the nation’s post-secondary landscape.”  


  • National Accreditation
    • 76% for-profit
    • 35% degree granting
    • 65% certifications
    • Single purpose institutions
    • Vocational oriented
    • Seldom transferable to regional institution

The three national accreditors are:

  • National Faith-Related Accrediting Organizations
  • National Career-Related Accreditation Organizations
  • Programmatic Accrediting Organizations