Frequently Asked Questions
- Twelve Common Questions and Answers About Regional Accreditation
- What does accreditation mean?
- Why is it important for a college to be accredited?
- What is the accreditation process?
- Educational accreditation is defined as a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of an educational institution or program are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the agency. In most countries in the world, the function of educational accreditation is conducted by a government organization, such as a ministry of education. In the United States, however, the quality assurance process is independent of government and performed by private membership associations, such as Western Association of Schools and College (WASC)/Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). ACCJC is the accrediting body for Los Angeles Trade Technical College.
- Not only is it important for a college to be accredited because of quality assurance of programs and offerings, but also because colleges that are accredited are allowed to offer federal financial aid assistance to eligible students who apply.
- In a six-year cycle, the accreditation arm of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), called the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) visits each of the colleges in California, and performs an assessment visit. Before the team arrives, the college provides a self-study, a compilation of data which responds to a series of lengthy educational standards used to measure a school’s effectiveness. ACCJC has raised its standards to insure that each college is providing a truly viable educational experience for its students. During its site visit, the accreditation team not only reviews the self-study, but directly interviews key college personnel to gather information about the institution’s process and programs. Once the visit is complete, the accreditation team submits its preliminary report to ACCJC, which then issues a final report on the college’s status.
For those interested in participating in our ongoing accreditation process, please contac the President’s Office, ext. 7052. You can find out more about accreditation at the ACCJC website, www.accjc.org, or at the U.S. Department of Education website, http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation.html.