The Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), in cooperation with national and programmatic accrediting organizations, has developed a new, consumer-friendly brochure to help students, prospective students, parents and the public to understand the value of accreditation and the importance of knowing accredited status before making any decisions on whether to attend an institution or program.

Ask Before You Decide: Accreditation Matters answers important questions including: What is accreditation? How does accreditation help me to make informed decisions? What questions do accreditors think I need to ask to make smart choices?

This 6-page brochure was developed by CHEA and accrediting organizations including:

  • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools  of Business.
  • The American Physical Therapy Association.
  • The American Psychological Association.
  • The Distance Education and Training Council.
  • The Teacher Education Accreditation Council.

We urge you to learn more about accreditation through reading this important publication.

ABHES encourages continuing education and training opportunities for graduates of its accredited institutions and programs. The importance of establishing fair and equitable transfer of credit policies cannot be understated. A variety of transfer of credit policies exist and it is essential institutions have a well-defined policy and process for evaluating credits for comparability.

ABHES’ policy on transfer of credit is described in I.B.6. of the Accreditation Manual as follows:

An institution or program may accept credits earned at another institution accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDOE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to satisfy specific requirements for completion of a program.  The institution or program must demonstrate that it has evaluated the coursework accepted for transfer and the basis for a conclusion that it is equivalent to the course work for which it substitutes and meets all ABHES requirements, including competency achievement.

As is provided elsewhere in this manual, programs and institutions must clearly state their transfer of credit policies, and they are encouraged to accept transfer credits as a means to promote academic mobility and to avoid requiring students to unnecessarily repeat equivalent, prior coursework.

Helpful Resources

  • Transfer and the Public Interest, published by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, November 2000. Available in a PDF file from  www.chea.org/commentary/index.html or writing to Publications, CHEA, One DuPont Circle, NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20036-1135 (phone: 202-955- 6126).
  • Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education, published for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, this directory lists CHEA’s members and  their accrediting agencies. (Visit www.oryxpress.com/scripts/book.)
  • DETC Occasional Paper Number 15: Strategies for Helping Students Transfer Credits. Available from DETC, 1601 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 and  in a PDF file from www.detc.org and select “Publications”
  • Pocket Guide to College Credits and Degrees: Valuable Information for Adult Learners Seeking College Degrees by Jacqueline E. Johnson, Jo Ann Robinson and  Sally R. Welch; ISBN 0-8268-1465; ACE Fulfillment Service, Dept. 191, Washington, D.C, 20055-0191; phone: 301-604-9073. (Visit  www.acenet.edu/calec/publications.)
  • U.S. Department of Education’s List of Recognized Accrediting Agencies, a listing of those accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  (Visit www.ifap.ed.gov/csb_html/agency.htm)
  • Transfer Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions (2001-2002), published by AACRAO. (Visit  www.aacrao.org/publications/catalog/transfer.htm)
  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), One DuPont Circle, NW, Suite 520, Washington, DC 20036 (Visit  www.aacrao.com).
  • American Council on Education (ACE), College Credit Recommendation Service, One Dupont Circle, NW, Washington, DC 20036 (Visit www.acenet.edu).

For information on translating foreign degrees and other qualifications click here.

A key focus of ABHES’ accreditation oversight is to ensure that an institution or program accredited by ABHES is operating in compliance with its accreditation standards, policies, and procedures. An institution that closes or plans to close, or a program that ceases or plans to cease operation, may lack sufficient financial resources to effectively operate the school or program and to fullfill its obligations to students. In such cases, and institution or program may be required to submit a teach-out plan so that ABHES can monitor the services provided to students. ABHES works with the institution or program in hopes of continuing the accreditation through a teach-out.

For students participating in Title IV federal programs, the U.S. Department of Education has prepared a guide to assist in sorting out some options available for students attending a school that will be closing to help students take the necessary steps to continue their education. This guide includes information on finding a teach-out or transfer program, financing, federal aid, academic records, and tuition recovery (if applicable to your state). The U.S. Department of Education, Accrediting Bodies, State Licensing Agencies, and Guarantee Agencies may assist you with various aspects of the process.

For Closed School Guide for Students, please click here.