Definition of accreditation
Accreditation is a voluntary, nongovernmental process involving a rigorous external review of a program conducted by peers to ensure that the program meets a standard of excellence that provides a high quality of education for students graduating from the program.
Benefits of accreditation
Accreditation is beneficial to:
- Aspiring public administration students – helps them choose a high-quality program
An aspiring student might not be familiar with intricacies like competencies, quality of instruction, adequacy of library, and so forth. The fact that a program can advertise that it has been accredited by the specialized national body will provide assurance to aspiring students about the quality of your program.
- Current students – provides them credibility with prospective employers
From their first day in a professional program, students are thinking about how to get their first job in their chosen field. They know that there will be many young, eager candidates in the job market. They will recognize the importance of any advantage that they can obtain to attract the attention of prospective employers.
- Faculty members – gives them pride in the quality of their program
Accreditation will be an aid in recruiting and retaining the best faculty members. The fact that they are teaching in a program that has passed the highest test for programs in their discipline will give faculty members pride in their work.
- Your program – provides an independent external validation of the quality of your program
Your program is already subject to an internal quality review just like all the other programs at your university. Accreditation provides external validation by an independent body that your program meets the standard of excellence established for comparable programs across the country. This also provides a benchmark to determine the level of resources that you need in order to maintain that position.
- Your university – enhances the reputation of your university
All universities have an internal quality review mechanism. Accreditation enhances the reputation of a university by subjecting its programs to review by an external national body that views your program in comparison to others across the country.
- Discipline of public administration – improves the quality of education for the discipline
Accreditation ensures the continuing quality and improvement of the discipline by establishing a standard of excellence for teaching programs.
Information on Accreditation
Click here to see what people have said about accreditation.
If you are interested in finding out more about how to have your program accredited, please see:
- Accreditation Process
- Report and Aftermath
- Self-Study Template (to download Word version click here)
For additional background, please see: