The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency. The primary benefits of institutional accreditation include:
- the Federal Government limits federal financial aid to students enrolled institutions that are accredited by one of the nationally recognized accreditors
- many graduate and professional schools only admit students who graduated from an accredited institution
- many higher education institutions only accept transfer credits from accredited institutions.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, one of six regional accrediting agencies. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been continuously accredited since 1913. The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for coordinating University efforts to prepare for the accrediting agency’s periodic site visits and reviews. The university last underwent a comprehensive self-study and site visit during the 2006-07 academic year. The next comprehensive evaluation will be in 2016-17.
UNL’s Statement of Affiliation Status (confirmation of accreditation) can be accessed on the Higher Learning Commission’s website.
Specialized Program Accreditation
In addition to the University’s accreditation, many programs also maintain specialized accreditation. The evaluation is conducted by a specialized accrediting agency, one that is often associated with a national professional organization. A table of accredited programs can be found in the UNL Fact Book.
General Information about Accreditation
The Council for Higher Education (CHEA) coordinates accreditation activity in the U.S. For more information about accreditation processes, see http://www.chea.org.
The Department of Education of the U.S. Government maintains a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that the Secretary of Education determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit. For more information see http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation.