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Accreditation of an academic unit by an accrediting body is an evaluation process which leads to a public statement about the extent to which the unit meets expected educational quality standards.
Accreditation provides an educational institution or a program with a credential. The credential is most often a public statement that the academic unit satisfies a set of quality criteria established by the accrediting body. Through the accreditation process, the faculty, the facilities, the student body, budgets, recruiting practices, admissions procedures, course content, degree completion requirements, and other pertinent issues come under thorough review..
The accreditation process may operate at a broad or narrow scope:
Institutional: the evaluation of an entire school, college, or university
Programmatic: the evaluation of just one degree-granting program within a larger institution
The academic unit is often an academic institution or a degree-granting academic program within the institution. The standards, which are established by experts in the field, cover elements such as the quality and size of the faculty, faculty support, facilities, budgets, recruiting practices, admissions procedures, course content, and the degree to which the unit reviews its operations periodically and uses feedback from constituencies to improve operations.
The main constituencies of the accreditation process are:
Organizations and Societies,
Institutions and their faculty and staff,
Students and prospective students.
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