What is regional?
The hunt for the right university is a complicated one. In addition to obvious qualifiers like tuition rate, degrees offered, and location, there’s one extremely important aspect that often gets overlooked...accreditation.
What is Regional Accreditation?
Accreditation is awarded to qualifying higher education institutes following an investigation by independent, external auditors. The purpose is to ensure that the institute keeps its promises to students. Those promises include things like…
- Do the degrees offered prepare students for relevant careers in that field?
- Does the university provide financial and other assistance to students who want it?
- Are faculty members adequately qualified to teach their courses?
- Is the university using ethical strategies to attract prospective students?
These are just a few of the many questions auditors answer during thorough, months-long investigations. Every aspect of an institution’s process is examined comprehensively with compiled data, documentation, and first-hand observation to determine whether a university deserves accreditation.
What is the Difference Between Regional and National Accreditation?
The difference between a "regionally accredited" and "nationally accredited" school is a very important one when choosing the institution you will attend. Regional accreditation is highly regarded around the world because it is a comprehensive, peer-reviewed process that ensures a consistent standard of quality for higher education institutions.
Regional accreditation is rooted in the history of traditional brick-and-mortar colleges and universities, and CSU-Global is proud to be the first and only 100% online, independent, regionally accredited, nonprofit university in the nation.
Regional accreditation standards require that up to one-third of a degree program’s curriculum includes general education courses in social, natural and physical sciences, English, math, humanities, and art. Regionally accredited universities and colleges usually only accept transfer credits or degrees from other regionally accredited institutions.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The HLC accredits, and thereby grants membership to, educational institutions in the North Central region: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The HLC is recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
The HLC has designed the accreditation process to achieve its mission: Serving the common good by assuring and advancing the quality of higher education.
HLC accreditation is based on the thorough evaluation and fulfillment of five specific criteria:
- Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct.
- Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support.
- Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement.
- Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness.
An important aspect of regional accreditation is that it must be renewed at regular intervals to ensure academic integrity at the level of a state university.
CSU-Global is proud to be reaccredited by the HLC following a comprehensive two-year evaluation including self-study, review, and a site visit that concluded in May 2016. The reaffirmation of accreditation has been granted through 2025-2026, and does not include provisional monitoring.
How Does Accreditation Impact You?
A university’s ability to meet and exceed these high standards is absolutely necessary for students to ensure that their education will be respected and valued as they enter the workforce. If your degree is not from a regionally accredited university, potential employers may question the validity of your education, which could impact your ability to get the job you deserve.
Regional accreditation is also important for transferring credit or a completed degree in the future. Most regionally accredited universities only accept transfer credits or degrees from other regionally accredited institutions. If you think you may transfer to another university, or earn a graduate degree following your bachelor’s, it could be extremely hard, if not impossible, to transfer credits from an unaccredited university.
Earning your degree takes hard work, dedicated effort, time, and finances, which is is why it’s crucial that your educational investment pays off in the future. Regardless of what university you decide to attend, be sure the institution is regionally accredited now and will continue to be in the future.
CSU-Global’s Commitment to Regional Accreditation Standards
At CSU-Global we take our regional accreditation very seriously to best respond to the needs of our students and global community. We’ve taken the following steps to continually ensure that students are prepared to succeed in our global workplace:
What these standards mean for you is that CSU-Global effectively responds to the needs of our students and communities. To this end, CSU-Global shares with our students and community the learning outcomes for our programs to make sure that students develop modes of inquiry that contribute to scholarship, engage in gathering, analyzing, and sharing information, and that they acquire skills that successfully translate beyond the classroom to their ever-changing environments.
The University employs highly qualified faculty, most of whom have terminal degrees, and supports their professional development. Students benefit from faculty that have professional experience in the fields they teach.
Additionally, CSU-Global provides effective oversight and delivery of support services to ensure the integrity of research and scholarship practiced by faculty, staff, and students. Support services include:
- Financial aid advising.
- Academic advising.
- Career navigation services.
- Military-specific support.
- Library and research resources.
- Co-curricular activities such as honor societies and student groups .