|Title:||State Uses of Accreditation: Results of a Fifty-State Inventory|
|Author:||Ewell, Peter T.
How states authorize postsecondary institutions to operate within their boundaries is one
of the least well documented topics in higher education today.1 No two states do this the
same way and jurisdictional boundaries among the state agencies that perform these
functions are sometimes uncertain (Goldstein, Lacey, and Janiga 2006). The role of
institutional accreditation in helping to ground these decisions is equally murky. Is
accreditation required to apply for authorization to operate? If so, is there a defined
window of time in which an institution must obtain accreditation? Or is there no
relationship with accreditation whatsoever? Similarly, for programmatic or specialized
accreditation in licensed occupations such as education or the health professions, is the
completion of an accredited course of study required for an individual to obtain a license
to practice or to sit for a licensing examination? And is appropriate programmatic or
specialized accreditation required for institutions that only teach these fields to be
authorized to operate within the state?