The five Standards for Accreditation are best understood within the context of the seven-year accreditation cycle. The Standards are interconnected and build upon each other in a recursive cycle of continuous improvement.
The five Standards for Accreditation are statements that articulate the quality and effectiveness expected of Accredited institutions, and collectively they provide a framework for continuous improvement within institutions. The five standards also serve as indicators by which institutions are evaluated by peers. The standards are designed to guide institutions in a process of self-reflection that blends analysis and synthesis in a holistic examination of:
Each of the five Standards for Accreditation is designated by a number and title (e.g., Standard One – Mission and Core Themes), and is further defined by elements of the standard, which are designated by the number of the standard followed by the letter of the element (e.g., 1.A Mission). The criteria for evaluation more specifically define the elements and are identified by the number of the standard, followed by the letter of the standard element, followed by the number of the criterion (e.g., 1.A.1). Each standard is introduced by a narrative summary intended only to provide direction, not to be addressed as a criterion.