Standards & Policies

The Standards for Accreditation are best understood within the context of the seven-year accreditation cycle. The Standards are interconnected and build upon each other in a recursive cycle of continuous improvement.

Design and Function

The Standards for Accreditation are statements that articulate the quality and effectiveness expected of Accredited institutions, and collectively they provide a framework for continuous improvement within institutions. The standards also serve as indicators by which institutions are evaluated by peers. The standards are designed to guide institutions in a process of self-reflection that blends analysis and synthesis in a holistic examination of:

  • The institution’s Mission;
  • The translation of the Mission into assessable objectives supported by programs and services;
  • The appraisal of the institution’s potential to fulfill the Mission;
  • The planning and implementation involved in achieving and assessing the desired outcomes of programs and services; and
  • An evaluation of the results of the institution’s efforts to fulfill the Mission and assess its ability to monitor its environment, adapt, and sustain itself as a viable institution.


Each of the Standards for Accreditation is designated by a number and title (e.g., Standard One – Student Success, and Institutional Mission and Effectiveness), and is further defined by elements of the standard, which are designated by the number of the standard followed by the letter of the element (e.g., 1.A Institutional Mission). The criteria for evaluation more specifically define the elements and are identified by the number of the standard, followed by the letter of the standard element, followed by the number of the criterion (e.g., 1.A.1). Each standard is introduced by a narrative summary intended only to provide direction, not to be addressed as a criterion.


Eligibility Requirements