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-5.8. 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;
- Higher Learning Commission, formerly part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools;
- Northwest Accreditation Commission and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities;
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; and
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Instructions: Is a College or University Regionally-Accredited?
Go to https://www.chea.org/search-institutions, 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.
Limitations on Accepting Credits Include:
- 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.
Please refer to Licensing regulations for details on the certificates for which you might apply. In addition, application requirements for many certificates are summarized at this page.
US Regional Accrediting Organizations
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education, formerly part of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools - Postsecondary institutions in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges - Educational institutions in the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).
- Higher Learning Commission, formerly part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools - Educational institutions in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
- Northwest Accreditation Commission for primary and secondary schools and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) for postsecondary institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools - Educational institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges - 4-year educational institutions in California, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, Palau, and Northern Marianas Islands, as well as schools for American children in Asia.