What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary, peer review process that compares institution processes and outcomes with external criteria and standards. It serves four main purposes: to assure quality to the public, to ease student transfer between institutions by signaling quality, to provide institutions with access to federal financial aid, and to certify a graduate’s credentials to employers. This is crucial to Lindenwood University’ mission of enhancing lives through quality education, and assures students, parents, and other stakeholders that a college or university provides a quality educational experience.
Why is accreditation important to Lindenwood?
- It helps assure the quality of education provided by an institution or program and provides suggestions for improvement.
- It ensures students’ transfer credit and degrees are accepted by other quality institutions.
- It signals to prospective employers that an educational program has met widely accepted educational standards. A particular field may require graduation from an accredited program or institution.
- It allows eligible students to access federal financial aid if they attend institutions accredited by accreditors that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
What happens if an institution loses its institutional accreditation?
If an institution loses accreditation status, its current and past students can experience negative repercussions regarding financial aid and degree value. Unaccredited institutions often lack credibility, which can devalue the educational qualifications of its graduates and its standing within the community it serves.
What does accreditation mean to key stakeholders?
Students and Parents
How does accreditation affect career opportunities?
Employers take into consideration the school attended and if it is accredited by a reliable agency. If a student’s degree is from an institution that has questionable accreditation, employers will question the validity of the degree and the student’s potential as a good job candidate.
How does accreditation affect future degree choices?
If a student plans on transferring to another institution at any time, schools will not take transfer credits from an unaccredited university.
How does accreditation affect student access to federal financial aid?
Students are only eligible for federal financial aid if they are attending a recognized, accredited institution.
Employers, Partnerships, and Collaborations
How does accreditation affect university relationships with employers?
Accreditation is a signal of quality and reliability to potential employers who seek to hire skilled graduates and interns with the skills they require, and also wish to partner with academic institutions or for internship placements.
Community, Peer Institutions, and Donors
How does accreditation affect university relationships with the community, peer institutions, and donors?
Accreditation enhances the organization's reputation and credibility in the community, among peers, and with potential public and private donors. Accreditation helps organizations gain greater access to funders, researchers, and programs that require or strongly prefer accreditation.
How does accreditation affect university employees?
Employees have a sense of pride of being associated with quality and sustainability. An accredited institution attracts quality employees and collaborative partners in research and projects.