How Do I Verify Regional Accreditation of a College or University?
Please see below for instructions on how to find out if a college or university is regionally-accredited.
Department of Education certification regulations generally require that college credits be shown on the transcript of a regionally accredited institution of higher education. N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-11.5(c). In most cases these credits must also appear on the transcript of a regionally-accredited, four year institution of higher education. Exceptions include some of the requirements for the educational interpreter certificate, the military science certificate, experience-based career and technical education certificates, and career and technical education certificates for which the department accepts courses from regionally-accredited two year institutions of higher education.
Please note, per below, that regional accreditation does not provide automatic acceptance of course credits.
In addition, a “regionally accredited college or university” is defined as (N.J.A.C. 6A:9B-2):
“Regionally accredited college or university” means an institution of higher education accredited by one of the following regional accreditation associations:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools:
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges;
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools;
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges;
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Go to www.chea.org/search/default.asp, scroll to the bottom of the page, and agree to the search conditions.
On the next page, enter the name, state, and country of the institution in question, choose ‘Any Accreditor,’ and click on the ‘Search for Institutional Accreditation’ button. (Sometimes the name of the institution is a little different than what you would expect, and you may have to try different variations. For example, you can find out about Rutgers University by typing in either Rutgers or Rutgers the State University of New Jersey, but not by typing in Rutgers University.)
If successful, you will retrieve a link to the institution you are seeking.
Click on that link. The information then provided will indicate the address, phone number(s) and institutional accreditation.
If the institutional accreditation matches one of the six allowed by regulation, then credits from this institution may be accepted by the Department of Education.
- All certification titles have specific degree and content/subject requirements that must be met, regardless of which regionally-accredited institution one has attended.
- Some certification titles generally require that one complete a particular program that is specifically approved by the department. These include alternate route certificates for Teacher of Students with Disabilities, English as a Second Language, Bilingual/Bicultural Education, and School Library Media Specialist.
- A graduating cumulative grade point average (GPA) cannot be improved by taking just any post-graduation courses at the same institution, nor does the department re-calculate a graduating GPA by considering courses from institutions other than the one(s) from which you graduate.
US Regional Accrediting Organizations
- Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools – Commission on Higher Education – accredits institutions in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. http://www.msche.org/ (Click on Institutions and then choose the first letter of the college’s name to obtain information.)
- New England Association of Schools & Colleges – Commission on Institutions of Higher Education – accredits institutions in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. http://www.neasc.org/cihe/cihe.htm (Click on Members Roster then go to Postsecondary Institutions and scroll for the college listings by state.)
- North Central Association of Colleges & Schools – Higher Learning Commission- accredits institutions in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. http://www.ncacihe.org/ (Click on Our Institutions and then select the state. Scroll down to view schools.)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities – accredits institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. http://www.nwccu.org/ (Click on Directory of Institutions and select the section of the alphabet or the graphic of the state that applies.)
- Southern Association of Colleges & Schools – Commission on Colleges - accredits institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, & Virginia. http://www.sacscoc.org/ (Scroll down slightly and click on the state of your choice from the map on the right.)
- Western Association of Schools & Colleges – accredits institutions in California, Hawaii and the Pacific. http://www.wascweb.org/ (Select the third link down, “The Accrediting Commission for SeniorColleges and Universities.” Next, select Member Directory.)