Educational accreditation is a voluntary peer review process by the higher education community that aims to assure academic quality and accountability and to encourage improvement. Accrediting agencies develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met.
There are two basic types of educational accreditation, one identified as “institutional” and one referred to as “specialized” or “programmatic.” 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, although not necessarily all at the same level of quality.
Specialized accreditation normally applies to the evaluation of programs, departments, or colleges which usually are parts of an institution. The unit accredited may be as large as a college within a university or as small as a curriculum within a discipline.
At UAEU, accreditation work falls within the institutional goal #3 of “achieving academic
excellence in accordance with academic and institutional accreditation standards.”