Accreditation Process

Determination of Eligibility
To be eligible for consideration for accreditation, an institution or entity must satisfy the following minimum requirements. 

Initial Application
ACICS is committed to collaborating with the institution in effecting a smooth and deliberate path toward meeting criteria and attaining an accreditation status. 

Initial Campus Accountability Report (CAR) 
As part of the complete application for an initial grant of accreditation with ACICS, an institution must complete an Campus Accountability (CAR). The CAR includes important data such as the overall enrollment at the institution, retention of students, and placement of completers and graduates.

Initial Resource Visit 
Following the acceptance of the initial application materials, including the assessment of the institution’s financial stability, an ACICS staff member will conduct an Initial Resource Visit.

Application and Self-Study
The self-study is the most important part of the process of accreditation and must be considered a major effort of the institution. It is not an endeavor that can be completed hastily. It requires time and careful planning. The self-study provides the institution with the opportunity to engage in a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of its operation. Essentially, the self-evaluation process forms the basis for the improvement of the educational effectiveness of the institution.

Accreditation Training
The Renewal Accreditation Workshop provides an overview of the ACICS accreditation process as well as evaluation visit preparation and procedures. The Renewal Accreditation Workshop is required for all institutions applying for a renewal of accreditation. The chief on-site administrator and/or self-study coordinator must attend an accreditation workshop within 18 months prior to the submission of the self-study. The Initial Accreditation Workshop is required for all initial applicants but is also open to anyone interested in learning about the ACICS Initial Accreditation process.

Evaluation Site Visit
When an institution has submitted a satisfactory self-study and other required documentation, the office of the President will appoint a team to visit and evaluate the institution. The institution is notified of the composition of the visiting team and may request that team members be replaced for cause.

Team Report and Response
The team prepares a written report that covers each area reviewed at the institution and includes other information pertinent to an accurate evaluation. The report subsequently is sent by the team chair to ACICS.

Intermediate Review Committee
All materials pertinent to an institution’s accreditation are reviewed by experienced persons before being reviewed by the appropriate commission of ACICS. This group will make a recommendation to ACICS if the evaluation file is complete. If the file is not complete, the reviewers will organize facts for ACICS but will not make a specific recommendation.

Council Decision
Action by ACICS to accredit or renew accreditation or not to do so, or to limit or otherwise condition the grant of accreditation, is determined only following review of pertinent information and data on the institution.