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Association for Biblical Higher Education



The Accreditation Procedure

3. Accredited status

A. Attaining Accredited status


A candidate institution will conduct an institutional self-study with respect to its own mission and objectives and with respect to the Standards for Accreditation. A final report, in the form of a compliance document, of the institution’s self-study (normally not exceeding 100 pages), together with an institutional assessment plan and planning document, is to be received in the Association office no later than November 1 prior to an evaluation team visit scheduled for the spring or fall of the institution’s fourth year of candidate status.

An evaluation team will verify claims made in the institution’s self-study materials, formulate recommendations relative to the institution’s achievement of the Standards for Accreditation, assess whether the institution has in place a mechanism for ongoing development, and prepare a recommendation for the Commission on Accreditation regarding the institution’s readiness for advancement to accredited status.

Institution representatives will be given an opportunity to appear before the Commission on Accreditation as it considers the evaluation team report and the institution’s response to the team report and determine whether to grant or deny initial accreditation or defer action. The Commission’s decision is based upon the Principle for Accreditation, i.e., that an institution is substantially achieving and can be reasonably expected to continue to achieve its own mission and objectives and the Standards for Accreditation, and that it is committed to ongoing institutional development.

An institution denied accredited status must wait one year before reapplying at the level of its choice. If desired, it may appeal the decision in accord with the “Policy and Procedures for Appeals.” An institution may voluntarily withdraw its request for accredited status, without prejudice, at any time prior to the decision of the Commission on Accreditation.

B. Maintaining Accredited status

Continued accreditation is contingent upon submission to the Association Commission of all required reports and payment of annual fees to the Association when due. In extenuating circumstances, a grace period of up to six months may be requested. In the third year of accreditation, a supplementary evaluation visit will be conducted by a representative of the Association in order to verify the progress reported by the institution.

C. Reaffirming Accredited status

An accredited institution will conduct an institutional self-study with respect to its own mission and objectives and with respect to the Standards for Accreditation. A final report, in the form of a compliance document, of the institution’s self-study (normally not exceeding 100 pages), together with an institutional assessment plan and planning document, is to be received in the Association office not less than eight weeks prior to an evaluation team visit that will be scheduled for the spring or fall of the institution’s fifth year of accredited status.

An evaluation team will verify claims made in the institution’s self-study materials, formulate recommendations relative to the institution’s achievement of the Standards for Accreditation, assess whether the institution has in place a mechanism for ongoing development, and prepare a recommendation for the Commission on Accreditation regarding the reaffirmation of the institution’s accredited status.

The Commission on Accreditation will consider the evaluation team report and the institution’s response to the team report and determines whether to reaffirm the institution’s accredited status. The Commission’s decision is based upon the Principle for Accreditation, i.e., that an institution is substantially achieving and can be reasonably expected to continue to achieve its own mission and objectives and the Standards for Accreditation, and that it is committed to ongoing institutional development.

An institution denied reaffirmation of accredited status may, if desired, appeal the decision in accord with the “Policy and Procedures for Appeals.”

Once reaffirmed, the institution will repeat the reaffirmation process every ten years. Institutions offering sub-baccalaureate vocational education may be required to host an unannounced visit at least once during each interval between reaffirmation visits. The purpose of the visit will be to ensure that the institution has the personnel, facilities, and resources it has claimed to have and that it continues to comply with the Standards for Accreditation. These visits are conducted without the benefit of self-study materials. The Commission on Accreditation will consider reports of unannounced visits at its regular meetings. Upon considering such reports, it will have the same range of decision-making options as are available for regular reaffirmation visits.

D. Statement on accredited status

Accredited institutions are to accurately reflect the nature of accredited status in their catalogs and other advertising.

For use when graduate education has been accredited —_________________ College/University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher education to grant degrees and certificates at the Associate, Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral degree levels.

For use when undergraduate education only has been accredited — _____________________ College/University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education to grant degrees and certificates at the Associate and Bachelor degree levels.

E. Title IV noncompliance

As a consequence of the 1992 Higher Education Amendments, the U.S. Department of Education is more closely monitoring institutional compliance with Title IV (Federal Student Financial Assistance) requirements. Upon discovery that an institution is no longer in compliance with the Title IV requirements, ABHE will conduct a special assessment to assure that the institution remains in substantial compliance with the Association’s Standards.

F. Statement of Accredited Status (Programmatic Accreditation)

The following statement must be used in the public documents of institutions who hold Programmatic Accreditation with the ABHE:

The Association for Biblical Higher Education (5850 T. G. Lee Blvd., Suite 130, Orlando, FL 32822, Telephone: 407-207-0808) accredits the following programs: [list the specific programs that are accredited].