The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) is the regional accreditation association responsible for accrediting all levels of education (k12 through doctoral) in the New England region of the United States. It also provides limited accreditation for schools located overseas. Established in 1885, the NEASC was the first of six regional education accreditors in the United States.
NEASC accreditation is an ongoing and voluntary system of accountability that is comprehensive in scope. While the accreditation process takes into account that each individual education institutions will be different in several regards (e.g. popuation, missions, cultures, etc.) the process is based on universal standards that define the characteristics of high quality schools and colleges.
NEASC accreditation attests to the following for each accredited school:
- the school is in compliance with quality standards as set forth by NEASC
- the integrity in statements (i.e promotions, advertising campaigns, etc.) made to the public about the schools programs
- the school is committed to continual improvement
- the school has sufficient resources to conduct its programs
NEASC accreditation does not provide the following:
- a guarantee that an individual student will have a good experience
- a guarantee as to the qualify of an individual program
- any type of comparison or ranking of accredited schools
Today, the NEASC accredits more than 2000 public, as well as private, schools, colleges and universities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. As of 2011, the NEASC accredited over 250 degree-granting colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions, and nearly 90 vocational-technical schools.
To view a list of higher education institutions accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) you’ll need to access their Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) Roster which can be found on the NEASC website at http://cihe.neasc.org/about_our_institutions/roster_of_institutions/. The NEASC Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) Roster allows users to browse accredited schools by state. The roster also shows the date each member institution (accredited school) received their intial accreditation, when their accreditation was last reviewed, the date of their next review and which degree programs a school is accredited to offer. Verifying accreditation status is the most important aspect of validating the quality of a school’s educational offering, but there’s more. You should also find out for how long a school has been accredited. If a school has only been accredited for a little while, it might be an indication that their program offering is not as well developed as that provided by other schools that have been accredited longer.
Higher education institutions may also be candidates for accreditation. Accreditation candidates are also listed on the NEASC website. Candidacy is not accreditation but it does indicate that an institution has not only applied for accreditation but that it is also progressing steadily and properly toward accreditation.