What is the Accrediting Commission of Careers Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)?

Located in Arlington, Virginia, the Accrediting Commission of Careers Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) is a non-profit organization that accredits postsecondary, non-degree-granting institutions.  These include over 650 institutions granting associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees that are predominantly trade and technical schools.

How does ACCSC Accredit?

According to their web site (accsc.org), ACCSC accredits in accordance to three “Commitments”:

  • “Our Commitment to Our Principles”
  • “Our Commitment to Our Intentions”
  • “Our Commitment to Our Core Values”

Included in these is a process that includes a peer review, a “students first” perspective and continuous improvement.  The ACCSC evaluates and assesses the institution’s infrastructure and post-education student employment rates.

How Can Institutions Look to be Accredited by ACCSC?

According to the ACCSC “Rules of Process and Procedure,” Institutions must partake in a rigorous twelve-step process that begins with “Pre-Application” and then includes the “Application,” “On-site Evaluation” and “Commission Review,” before receiving accreditation.

How Can Institutions Learn More About ACCSC?

The Certified Accreditation Professional Program is offered by the ACCSC to school personnel who are interested in learnings about the standards and practices of the ACCSC’s accreditation process.  The program provides individuals certification once they complete it.  Information on this program can be found on the ACCSC web site at their “Online Training Center.”

Can Institutions Lose Their Accreditation From ACCSC?

In situations in which schools are not in compliance with their standards can place those institutions on warning, probation or even withdraw accreditation.   A list of these schools is placed on the ACCSC web site.

How Does ACCSC Communicate to Accredited Institutions?

An online publication entitled Spotlight on Excellence, provides as opportunity for schools to share best practices, ranging from technical innovations to student inspiration.

What are the ACCSC Standards of Accreditation?

The ACCSC Standards provides a foundation for institutions seeking accreditation, with the goal that these institutions “offer well-developed programs that prepare students for their chosen fields of work.”  The ACCSC includes full, in-depth detail around all nine of these in their official document, which is available to view on their web site.

What Additional Resources Does the ACCSC offer?

Among others, the ACCSC offers “Blueprints for Success,” which shares best practices from high performing institutions, “Employment Verification,” which requires institutions to verify employment data and “New Student Letters,” which provide congratulations to students from the Commission.