Accreditation is the recognition that an institution maintains a certain level of standards required of their graduates, either to gain admission to other institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice in a chosen field. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency. The primary benefits of institutional accreditation include:
- The Federal Government limits federal financial aid to students enrolled institutions that are accredited by one of the nationally recognized accreditors
- Many graduate and professional schools only admit students who graduated from an accredited institution
- Many higher education institutions only accept transfer credits from accredited institutions
The University of Nebraska-Medical Center (UNMC) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). UNMC has been continuously accredited since 1913. The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for coordinating University efforts to prepare for the accrediting agency’s periodic site visits and reviews. The university last underwent a comprehensive self-study and site visit during the 2016-17 academic year.
Accreditation Liaison Officer: Kendra Schmid, PhD
Kendra Schmid, PhD, serves as UNMC's Accreditation Liaison Officer. An ALO receives communications from HLC regarding policies, procedures and professional development opportunities, including the report of actions following each meeting of HLC’s Board of Trustees, communications about the Institutional Update and information about HLC’s annual conference.
For specific questions regarding accreditation, please contact Dr. Kendra Schmid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Specialized program accreditation
In addition to the University’s accreditation, many programs also maintain specialized accreditation. The evaluation is conducted by a specialized accrediting agency, one that is often associated with a national professional organization. A list of current departments/programs accredited by specialized accrediting agencies are available through the Office of Institutional Research.
General Information about Accreditation
CHEA is a national association comprised of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and serves as an advocate for promoting academic quality through accreditation. More information regarding CHEA, higher education accreditation, and research and publications.
The United States Department of Education provides oversight over the postsecondary accreditation system through its review of all federally-recognized accrediting agencies. The Department:
- The Department of Education holds accrediting agencies accountable by ensuring that they enforce their accreditation standards effectively
- The Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies
- The Secretary of Education recognizes State agencies for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education and nurse education
UNMC's Statement of Affiliation Status (confirmation of accreditation) can be accessed on the Higher Learning Commission's website.