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Research and Publications

CHEA Publications

Presidential Guidelines

Inside Accreditation

Conference Presentations

Summer Workshop Presentations

CHEA Fact Sheets

Condition of Accreditation

Overview of Accreditation

Accreditation and Recognition in the U.S.

CHEA Monograph Series

CHEA Chronicle

Advisory Statements

Occasional Papers

Other Publications,
Meeting Summaries

New Leadership Alliance Publications

CHEA Annual Reports

Research Resource Links

Presidential Guidelines Series
A series of publications highlighting the importance of presidential leadership and engagement in accreditation.

Inside Accreditation with the President of CHEA
A publication of news and commentary from the CHEA President to presidents and chancellors of CHEA member institutions.

2015 CHEA Annual Conference Presentations

2015 CIQG Annual Meeting Presentations

2015 Summer Workshop Presentation

2014 CHEA Annual Conference Presentations

2014 CIQG Annual Meeting Presentations

2014 Summer Workshop Presentations

2013 CHEA Annual Conference Presentations

2013 CHEA Summer Workshop Presentations

2012 Annual Conference Presentations

2012 International Seminar Presentations

2012 Summer Workshop Presentations

2011 Annual Conference Presentations

2011 International Seminar Presentations

2010 Annual Conference and Fourth National Accreditation Forum Presentations

2010 International Seminar Presentations

2009 Annual Conference and Second National Accreditation Forum Presentations

2009 International Seminar Presentations

2008 Summer Workshop Presentations

2008 Annual Conference Presentations

2007 Annual Conference Presentations

2006 Annual Conference Presentations

CHEA Fact Sheets

Condition of Accreditation

  • The Condition of Accreditation: U.S. Accreditation in 2013 (pdf) November 2015
    Quantitative information about the numbers of accredited institutions and programs in the U.S., student enrollment, operating characteristics of accrediting organizations, international accreditation activity and recognition of accrediting organizations.

An Overview of U.S. Accreditation

  • An Overview of U.S. Accreditation (pdf) November 2015
    General description of the key features of U.S. accreditation of higher education and recognition of accrediting organizations.

Accreditation and Recognition in the United States

CHEA Monograph Series

  • Presidential Perspectives on Accreditation: A Report of the CHEA Presidents Project (pdf) April 2006
    Thirty distinguished college and university presidents and chancellors shared their perceptions of institutional and programmatic accreditation in a series of interviews conducted by CHEA during Spring 2005. The presidents commented on their knowledge of and involvement in accreditation, accreditation's value to institutions and accreditation's value to society.
  • Is Accreditation Accountable? The Continuing Conversation Between Accreditation and the Federal Government (pdf) October 2003
    This monograph addresses key issues in the current discussion between accreditation and the federal government as this relates to accountability and higher education. At stake is a centuries-old tradition of institutional autonomy and self-regulation. The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) now being discussed in Congress is driving this issue to the top of the academic agenda.
  • Specialized Accreditation and Assuring Quality in Distance Learning (pdf) (CHEA Monograph Series 2002, Number 2)
    This report describes the work to date of programmatic accreditors in the area of distance learning. It explores the extent to which these accrediting organizations review distance learning as well as the standards, policies, and procedures they use.
  • Accreditation and Assuring Quality in Distance Learning (pdf) (CHEA Monograph Series 2002, Number 1)
    This report describes the scope and impact of distance learning on higher education today. It identifies the primary challenges that distance learning poses for institutional accreditation and describes the thoughtful and comprehensive response to date of the accrediting community to assure quality in distance learning.
  • Distance Learning: Academic and Political Challenges for Higher Education Accreditation (pdf) (CHEA Monograph Series 2001) The focus of this monograph is how distance learning challenges some fundamentals of the academic work and the politics of American higher education—thereby challenging some related features of quality assurance and self-regulation that are at the heart of national, regional, and specialized accreditation.
  • Core Academic Values, Quality, and Regional Accreditation: The Challenge of Distance Learning (CHEA Monograph Series 2000)
    A small set of core academic values is central to the history and tradition of higher education. Distance learning, however unintentionally, challenges these values, forcing reconsideration of their origins and the choices they represent. This paper focuses on regional accreditation as one of the oldest and most frequently used forms of institutional quality assurance in the United States.

Letters from the President

The CHEA Chronicle

CHEA Advisory Statements

Occasional Papers

All Occasional Papers are now available through the CHEA Website.

  • An Examination of the Changing Faculty: Ensuring Institutional Quality and Achieving Desired Student Learning Outcomes (pdf) January 2014
    This CHEA Occasional Paper addresses the growing number of contingent faculty at colleges and universities and the effect on institutional quality and student learning outcomes.
  • Accreditation and Accountability: Looking Back and Looking Ahead. A CHEA Occasional Paper (pdf) August 2011
    This CHEA Occasional Paper is a compilation of ideas, recommendations and suggestions that CHEA has offered for a small but vital set of higher education accreditation issues over the past ten years.
  • State Uses of Accreditation: Results of a Fifty-State Inventory (pdf) November 2010
    This report – produced for CHEA by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) – examines the connection between states and accreditation and accreditation’s role as states authorize institutions to operate. The report inventories of how each of the 50 states – in concert with nongovernmental accreditation – carries out its responsibilities with regard to establishing and maintaining higher education institutions within its borders.
  • Accreditation and Accountability: A CHEA Special Report (pdf) December 2006  
    During the past five years, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has published a number of recommendations, principles and advisories that address accreditation, institutional performance, student learning outcomes and transparency. This document summarizes CHEA's thinking in this vital area.
  • CHEA Survey of Recognized Accrediting Organizations: Providing Information to the Public (pdf) April 2006
    In the fall of 2004, following a series of conversations with the accreditation community on the topic of providing additional information to the public, CHEA contracted with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) to conduct a survey of accrediting organizations on this matter. The purpose of this survey was to identify practices used by accrediting organizations to inform the public about what they do: How these organizations operate, their decision-making practices and the results of their scrutiny of higher education institutions and programs.
  • International Quality Review and Distance Learning: Lessons from Five Countries (pdf) January 2005
    This report on quality review of distance learning in five countries was produced for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s International Commission in order to better understand the nature of existing regulatory arrangements in the context of growth in electronically supported learning and in the import and export of higher education worldwide. Country case studies were developed for Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Australia and the U.K. Prepared by Robin Middlehurst and Steve Woodfield, Centre for Policy and Change in Tertiary Education, University of Surrey.
  • Accreditation and the Provision of Additional Information to the Public about Institution and Program Performance (pdf) May 2004
    This paper explores the many different and legitimate roles that accrediting organizations may play in providing a wider array of information about institutional and program performance to the public and discusses how individual accrediting organizations can position themselves in this role. Prepared by Peter T. Ewell, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
  • International Quality Review: Values, Opportunities and Issues (pdf) June 2002
    This Occasional Paper brings together the three major papers presented at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s 2002 International Seminar. These papers explore some of the key issues in international quality review:
    • Quality Assurance in an International Environment: National and International Interests and Tensions (Dirk Van Damme, VLIR-Flemish Interuniversity Council, Belgium)
    • Quality Assurance for Distance Learning: Issues for International Discussion and Action (Simon Marginson, Monash Centre for Research in International Education, Australia)
    • International Quality Assurance, Ethics and the Market: A View from a Developing Country (Mala Singh, Council on Higher Education, South Africa).
  • The papers do not represent policy positions for CHEA but are presented as important contributions to international quality review in many parts of the world.
  • Different Perspectives on Information about Educational Quality: Implications for the Role of Accreditation (pdf) April 2002
    Accreditation has become widely accepted as the primary vehicle for assuring the quality of higher education in the United States. This Occasional Paper investigates the matches and mismatches between the needs of different audiences relating to educational quality and the ability of accreditation as it is currently constituted to respond to these needs. Prepared by Dennis P. Jones, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
  • Accreditation and Student Learning Outcomes: A Proposed Point of Departure (pdf) September 2001
    The purpose of this paper is to provide accrediting organizations with guidance about how to engage evidence of student learning as they establish policies, standards and approaches to accreditation review. Prepared by Peter T. Ewell, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
  • The Common Data Project (pdf) August 2000
    This report details the results of an analysis of the current institutional data requirements of all the accrediting organizations that are recognized by CHEA or by the U.S. Department of Education or by both. Prepared by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
  • The Competency Standards Project: Another Approach to Accreditation Review (pdf) August 2000
    An analysis of the impact of distance learning and outcomes on higher education and the implications for external quality review. The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) designed and tested an alternative approach to accreditation standards and review–one that places significant emphasis on student outcomes and a distance delivery setting. Western Governors University (WGU) piloted a “competency standards project.” Prepared by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems.
  • Internationalizing Quality Assurance in Higher Education (pdf) July 1999
    An examination of international quality assurance practices and the recent growth of quality assurance overseas. Considers the range of practices employed, identifies related issues and discusses implications for U.S. institutions and accrediting organizations. Prepared by John Petersen.
  • Tasks for Higher Education Accreditation (pdf) January 1999
    This paper reviews the tasks that are challenging accreditation and suggests that if self-regulation is to continue, a modified accreditation system will prove the only vehicle available to adjust higher education to society’s new expectations. Prepared by Milton Greenberg.
  • Assuring Quality in Distance Learning (pdf) April 1998
    This paper investigates the emerging topic of quality assurance in technology-mediated distance learning programs in higher education. Prepared by Ronald A. Phipps, Jane V. Wellman and Jamie P. Merisotis, The Institute for Higher Education Policy.
  • Recognition of Accreditation Organizations (pdf) January 1998
    This paper provides a framework for thinking about recognition of higher education accrediting organizations in the United States, a function performed both by government, through the Department of Education (ED), and outside of government. Since 1996, that function outside the government has been carried out by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Before that time, it was conducted first by the Council for Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA) and then by the Council for Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA).

Other Publications, Meeting Summaries

CHEA Annual Reports

  • 2013-2014 Annual Report (pdf)
    Annual report of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s activities and accomplishments in 2013-20143.
  • 2012-2013 Annual Report (pdf)
    Annual report of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s activities and accomplishments in 2012-2013.
  • 2011-2012 CHEA Annual Report (pdf)
    Annual report of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s activities and accomplishments in 2011-2012.
  • 2010-2011 CHEA Annual Report (pdf)
    Annual report of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s activities and accomplishments in 2010-2011.
  • 2009-2010 CHEA Annual Report (pdf)
    Annual report of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s activities and accomplishments in 2009-2010.
  • 2008-2009 CHEA Annual Report (pdf)
    Annual report of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s activities and accomplishments in 2008-2009.

Research Resource Links

Educational Resource Information Center (ERIC) - homepage

Search ERIC
A list of publicly known sites for searching the ERIC databases.

Internet Resources for Institutional Research
A homepage of Internet links to assist researchers, faculty, and students in higher education in navigating the Internet.


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