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Reliance on Accreditors


Libraries, their content and services, are part of all accrediting agency standards within one of the 10 Core Areas.  Depending on the accrediting agency and its scope,  libraries form a greater or smaller portion of the compliance standards/guidlines. The Virtual Librarian Service and its librarians pay a great deal of attention to the Standards as they relate to the library. VLS always ensure the library complies. That is part of our job with our clients and one less worry for the institutional effectiveness officer or CAO at our client institutions. 

From: Center for American Progress : Their Post September 19 2019 at
The government’s reliance on accreditors

The Department of Education currently recognizes 62 accreditation agencies that can approve colleges for access to financial aid or other federal programs. This includes 37 agencies that serve as a link to federal financial aid,10 16 that serve as a link to other federal programs such as health education programs under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS),11 and 9 state agencies that approve either nursing or vocational education—some of which may also provide a link to federal student aid.12 Of the 37 agencies that serve as gatekeepers to federal aid, 17 are institutional accreditors that oversee entire institutions and 20 are specialized or programmatic accreditors that approve programs or institutions of a certain category—for example, religious institutions.

See the Center’s List of Accreditors federally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education by Type, Category, # of member Institutions and Title IV loan volume at the url for the article above. 

The article goes on to say:

The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 required the secretary of education to conduct a comprehensive review and independent evaluation of the performance of accrediting agencies in order to ensure that they are meeting federal criteria.19 This federal review must consider information collected from sources other than the accreditor, also known as “third-party information”; include site visits to the agency and the schools it accredits; and take into account any other relevant information. The law also required that agencies have standards in 10 core areas, including student achievement, fiscal and administrative capacity, and curricula.