Accreditation is both a status and a process.
As a status, accreditation provides public notification that an institution or program meets standards of quality set forth by an accrediting agency.
As a process, accreditation reflects the fact that—in achieving recognition by the accrediting agency—an institution or program is committed to self‑study and external review by peers
Accredited institutions not only meet standards, but continuously seek ways to enhance the quality of education and training provided.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Cabrini College's regional accreditor, is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence across institutions.
MSCHE examines each institution as a whole, rather than specific programs within institutions.
Each institution in the region is reviewed every 10 years (decennial) through a process involving a multi‑year self‑study and multi‑day site visit from peer reviewers.
Every five years, the institution prepares a “periodic review report.”
Seal of Approval: Students, parents, and donors want validation by trusted third-party organization like the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Federal Funding: The government wants accountability for the financial aid funds that institutions receive. The accreditation system serves as a critical element in providing information about academic quality to satisfy the federal interest in assuring the appropriate use of federal funds. Without accreditation, Cabrini would lose its eligibility for student aid from the federal government.
Self‑Evaluation: The accreditation process motivates the entire institution to take a close look at their goals, strategies, accomplishments, and failures.
Self-study, as the term suggests, is a study of the organization by the organization itself to investigate how well it is operating under the standards set by its accreditation body (MSCHE in Cabrini's case).