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Regional Accrediting Organizations

Regional accrediting commissions are among the oldest accrediting organizations in the country. The United States is divided into six accreditation regions: New England, Middle States, North Central, Southern, Western and Northwest. Seven accrediting commissions operate in these regions. All regional accrediting commissions review entire institutions, as opposed to programs or schools within institutions.

Regional Accrediting Organizations
Accrediting Organization Recognized Scope of Accreditation
Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC)
CHEA-recognized
USDE-recognized
CHEA-recognized Scope Statement:
Associate degree-granting institutions, with authorization to approve a career or technically oriented baccalaureate degree, in colleges in California, Hawaii, the Territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. (2019)
USDE-recognized Scope Statement:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
CHEA-recognized
USDE-recognized
CHEA-recognized Scope Statement:
Degree granting institutions incorporated in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming or federally authorized sovereign nations that are authorized (licensed) by the same state or nation to award higher degrees (associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees (both research and professional)). (2012)
USDE-recognized Scope Statement:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
CHEA-recognized
USDE-recognized
CHEA-recognized Scope Statement:
Degree-granting institutions which offer one or more postsecondary educational programs, including those offered via distance education, of at least one academic year in length at the Associate's or higher level in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other geographical areas outside the United States in which the Commission conducts accrediting activities. (2019)
USDE-recognized Scope Statement:
Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)
Not CHEA-recognized
USDE-recognized
USDE-recognized Scope Statement:
New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
CHEA-recognized
USDE-recognized
CHEA-recognized Scope Statement:
The accreditation of institutions that award the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees and associate's degree-granting institutions that include in their offerings at least one program in liberal studies or another area of study widely available at the baccalaureate level of regionally accredited colleges and universities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and internationally. (2013)
USDE-recognized Scope Statement:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
CHEA-recognized
USDE-recognized
CHEA-recognized Scope Statement:
The accreditation and preaccreditation (“Candidacy status”) of postsecondary degree-granting educational institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and internationally, and the accreditation of programs offered via distance education within these institutions.
USDE-recognized Scope Statement:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
CHEA-recognized
USDE-recognized
CHEA-recognized Scope Statement:
Regional accrediting body for degree-granting institutions of higher education in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Latin America, and other Commission approved international sites, including the accreditation of programs offered via distance and correspondence education within these institutions. (2014)
USDE-recognized Scope Statement:
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
CHEA-recognized
USDE-recognized
CHEA-recognized Scope Statement:
Baccalaureate degree or higher institutions in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Basin; institutions that offer programs outside the United States when such institutions are capable of being reviewed effectively by WASC processes. (2014)
USDE-recognized Scope Statement:

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