Once authorized by the Commission to proceed with self-evaluation, the institution is to prepare a comprehensive analytical self-analysis. Although a Candidate for Accreditation institution will not be expected to have the maturity and stability of an accredited institution, the Standards and Guide for Self-Evaluation provides a good basis for the institution to document how it is organized, staffed, and supported to accomplish its purposes and to demonstrate its potential to attain accreditation within five years, the maximum allowed under U.S. Department of Education regulations.

Institutional self-evaluation is the most significant part of the accreditation process. It must be comprehensive, encompass the entire institution, and address the Commission’s accreditation criteria and be viewed as an ongoing process to understand, evaluate, and improve quality and effectiveness by:

  • analyzing institutional resources and effectiveness in fulfilling its mission;
  • demonstrating that student achievement is commensurate with the certificates, diplomas, degrees, or other recognition awarded;
  • appraising the relationship of all the institution’s activities to its purposes;
  • providing a sound basis for institutional planning and improvement;
  • assessing educational achievements as well as structures and processes;
  • assessing student achievement with respect to programs and services offered to accomplish educational purposes;
  • assessing performance in achieving institutional mission and goals.

For more information on self-evaluation, see Institutional Self-Study, Accreditation Handbook, page 14.