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.
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.
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.