Accreditation

Definition

Accreditation is a status granted to an educational institution or program that has been found to meet or exceed stated standards of educational quality. Accreditation is an activity that has long been accepted in the United States but generally unknown in most other countries. The United States has always preferred to keep governmental restrictions on institutions of post secondary education to a minimum and has encouraged the voluntary system of accreditation in promoting quality education without inhibiting innovation. This system of accreditation has helped to ensure that post secondary education in the United States maintains the highest quality both in the field of education and in the field of research.

Purpose

Accreditation has two fundamental purposes: to assure the quality of the program and to assist in the improvement of the institution or program. Accreditation--which is applicable to institutions or programs--should be distinguished from certification and licensure, which apply to individuals.

Accreditation

Requiring each program seeking accreditation to:

  • Define its educational mission, goals, and purposes in writing after consultation with students, faculty, alumni, and the hospitality industry;
  • Translate its mission into educational outcomes that can be objectively and clearly assessed; and
  • Assure the Commissions that the hospitality program has the administrative, financial and academic support to achieve its educational mission.
  • Ascertaining, by sending a team of qualified educators to the program campus the degree to which the program has translated its mission into educationally appropriate outcomes. This team also provides the experience and knowledge of peers to help guide the program towards continuous improvement of program quality. Affirming, through Commission action and annual reviews that the program meets a standard of educational quality and will maintain a programmatic commitment to continually improving that quality.

Accreditation... from the Student's Perspective

"There were many things I took into consideration when I began searching for a university to attend. One of the reasons I chose to study Hospitality and Restaurant Administration at Southwest Missouri State was because of their accreditation. It is much more beneficial for me to receive a degree from an accredited program."

-- Ling-Hua (Sherry) Chien

Accreditation... from an Employer's Perspective

"ARAMARK has supported the accreditation process with both time and with funding because we firmly believe in the value of continuous improvement and in the partnership of industry and education. In industry, this kind of evaluative process is undertaken regularly by the market leaders and at costs which are tens of thousands of dollars higher."

-- Ed Evans, Vice President for Human Resources, ARAMARK