Accreditation is an important process of self-governance for institutions of higher education.The periodic review and assessment that accreditation entails not only provides an assurance of quality to the public, but also aids institutions in their own planning. In addition, only accredited schools are eligible for certain Federal grants, including Pell grants for students.
NEASC, founded in 1885, is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States. Currently NEASC accredits over 2,000 educational institutions, from pre-K to doctoral level, including 240 colleges and universities. The NEASC mission calls for the development and maintenance of high standards for all levels of education. Members of the NEASC board and staff, as well as members of visiting accrediting teams are drawn primarily from faculty and staff of member institutions.
On August 1, 2018, the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) became the federally recognized regional accreditor for the six New England states. NECHE has assumed the business functions of the Commission previously managed by NEASC. The NEASC Standards for Accreditation remain unchanged.
The NEASC standards are organized into nine broad categories:
- Mission and Purposes
- Planning and Evaluation
- Organization and Governance
- The Academic Program
- Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship
- Institutional Resources
- Educational Effectiveness
- Integrity, Transparency, and Public Disclosure