Postsecondary accrediting agencies in the United States are private, nongovernmental organizations created specifically to review of the quality of higher education institutions and programs. Recognized or approved accrediting agencies have been reviewed for quality by the United States Department of Education (US DoE) and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

There are two types of postsecondary accreditation in education: “institutional” and “specialized” (often referred to as “programmatic”).

Institutional Accreditation

Institutional accreditation normally applies to an entire institution, indicating that each of an institution’s parts is contributing to the achievement of the institution’s objectives. The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Specialized Accreditation

Specialized accreditation, also referred to as programmatic accreditation, applies to programs of study in professional or occupational fields that are typically parts of a total collegiate or other postsecondary institution.  Specialized accrediting agencies assess the extent to which programs achieve their stated mission, goals, and expected outcomes. 

Substantive Change

Substantive change is defined as a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution as defined by SACSCOC.

Ongoing Compliance Activities

Ongoing compliance activities include but are not limited to: