Types of Accreditors

National accreditation agencies typically accredit institutions which specialize in instruction and training for a profession or career. Many nationally-accredited institutions are proprietary, independent, and privately supported. For example, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) accredits institutions which prepare students for careers in business, allied health, technology, and a broad array of other areas. ACICS has accredited institutions located in over 46 states and internationally.

Regional accreditation agencies accredit institutions that are community colleges and state universities generally located in their respective geographic region. Many regionally-accredited institutions are publicly supported. For example, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accredits institutions located primarily in the southeastern United States.

Specialized or Programmatic
Specialized accreditation agencies accredit programs in particular disciplines or program areas. For example, the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER) accredits programs in interior design. Specialized accrediting agencies may accredit programs in institutions that are nationally accredited or regionally accredited.