What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is viewed as a process by which an institution at the tertiary level evaluates its educational activities, in whole or in part, and seeks an independent judgment to confirm that it substantially achieves its objectives, and is generally equal in quality to comparable institutions.
Program As the Unit of Assessment
Currently, accreditation in state colleges and universities is by program. A program is defined as a course or a group of related courses packaged in a curriculum and leading to a graduate or undergraduate degree. Examples of programs are elementary teacher education, civil engineering, agriculture, etc.
AACCUP is now considering other models, like, accrediting by institution as alternatives to, or to complement program accreditation.
Aside from being program-focused, accreditation is:
- based on standards of the accrediting agency, which are normally higher than those set by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and other appropriate agencies, e.g. Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).;
- voluntary on the part of the higher education institution that may want to be accredited;
- an evaluation by peers, i. e. the external accreditors are mostly faculty members from other higher education institutions; and