Quality assurance process / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Educational accreditation is a quality assurance process under which services and operations of educational institutions or programs are evaluated and verified by an external body to determine whether applicable and recognized standards are met. If standards are met, accredited status is granted by the appropriate agency.
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In most countries, the function of educational accreditation is conducted by a government organization, such as the Ministry of Education. The United States government instead delegates the quality assurance process to private non-profit organizations. Those organizations are formally called accreditors. In order to receive federal funding and any other type of federal recognition, all accreditors in the US must, in turn, be recognized by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), which is an advisory body to the U.S. Secretary of Education. The federal government is, therefore, still the top-level architect and controlling authority of accreditation. The U.S. accreditation process was developed in the late 19th century and early 20th century after educational institutions perceived a need for improved coordination and articulation between secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, along with standardization of requirements between the two levels.