Regional accreditation consists of a voluntary, independent evaluation of the educational institution to determine that the curriculum is of uniform and sound quality, as established by criteria set by the accrediting organization.
Accreditation is important because it: (1) determines an educational institution’s eligibility for participation in federal (Title IV) and state financial aid programs; (2) allows for acceptance and transfer of college credit; and (3) is a prerequisite for many graduate programs.
The most recognized and accepted type of accreditation in the United States is regional accreditation. There are six geographic regions in the United States with agencies that accredits colleges and university higher education programs. They are as follows: 1) New England Association of Schools and Colleges, 2) Middle States, Association of Colleges and Schools, 3) North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 4) Northwest Association of School and Colleges, 5) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and 6) Western Association of Schools and Colleges; Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
The simplest way to determine whether or not an educational institution is accredited is to visit the regional accrediting board website for their area and looking up the institution name.