The Value of CHEA

A national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations.

Since its inception in 1996-1997, CHEA has served colleges, universities, accrediting organizations, students and society in five ways:

  1. CHEA is a major national voice for accreditation to government and the public, consistently making the case for accreditation as a system of successful private sector self-regulation of higher education.

    CHEA is a forceful and persistent advocate for the value and credibility of accreditation to Congress and to the U.S. Department of Education. CHEA informs and educates students, the general public and the press on an ongoing basis about the contribution of accreditation. CHEA is routinely in the forefront of the latest developments in higher education that affect accreditation, including public accountability, student learning outcomes, international quality assurance and the challenges posed by degree and accreditation mills.
  2. CHEA assures the quality and rigor of accrediting organizations, scrutinizing these operations for their effectiveness in advancing academic quality and serving higher education, students and the public.

    Through its Recognition Policy and Procedures, CHEA holds institutional and programmatic accreditors responsible for meeting CHEA standards of quality. Additionally, the CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes acknowledges institutional leadership in meeting current accountability challenges.
  3. CHEA is a national and international authority on the U.S. accreditation enterprise, providing profiles and analyses of accreditation practices, policies and emerging issues.

    CHEA provides authoritative and reliable information at the national level about accreditation operation, accomplishments and impact. CHEA’s Database of Institutions and Programs Accredited by Recognized United States Accrediting Organizations is the largest and most comprehensive Web-based compilation in the U.S., with information on thousands of institutions and programs.
  4. CHEA supports and strengthens the role of accreditation in maintaining the core academic values of higher education – commitments to institutional autonomy, academic freedom and institutional mission.

    Positioned at the intersection of institutional and accreditation interests, CHEA plays a key role in keeping the importance of core academic values before these communities through publications, meetings and research. These are the essential characteristics that have driven the success of U.S. higher education for 100 years.
  5. CHEA serves as a major national and international forum for communication and exchange among accrediting organizations, institutions and programs.

    CHEA conferences, workshops and meetings, as well as meetings of the CHEA International Quality Group, bring together key actors in accreditation and higher education from around the world. CHEA gatherings engage the challenging issues vital to the future success of higher education and to sustaining quality.