Six regional accreditation bodies, along with dozens of specialized groups, create and implement standards to ensure the quality of the higher education experience. These bodies are non-governmental agencies, made up of their member institutions. Representatives of the institutions meet to create and revise standards, to review the accreditation status of other member institutions, and to consider the admission of applicants to their ranks.

The Role of the Faculty in the Accrediting of Colleges and Universities (.pdf) was approved by the Association’s Committee on Accrediting of Colleges and Universities, adopted by the Association’s Council in April 1968, and endorsed by the Fifty-fourth Annual Meeting.

The AAUP’s Committee on on Accreditation

The AAUP has a very active committee on accreditation. In the past several years, it has monitored the development of standards on distance education, protested the accreditation of a completely on-line institution, testified against a state franchise for a for-profit adult school that relied on publicly funded academic libraries to support its application for licensure, and convened a roundtable discussion among administrators, accreditors, and faculty on ways to preserve quality in the changing educational environment. See the list of committee members.

Accreditation Standards

In most cases, the accreditation standards and procedures used by each regional body can be found on their Web sites, as follows:

Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Commission on Higher Education
Jean Avnet Morse, Executive Director

New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
Charles M. Cook, Director

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
The Higher Learning Commission
Sylvia Manning, Executive Director

Northwest Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities
Commission on Colleges and Universities
Sandra E. Elman, Executive Director

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Commission on Colleges
James T. Rogers, Executive Director

(Western region operates as two separate commissions):
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
Barbara A. Beno, Executive Director

Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
Ralph A. Wolff, Executive Director

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