How does the Department of Education certify accreditation agencies?

The Department of Education will review the accreditation agency’s application for recognition by conducting announced and unannounced on-site evaluations and allowing the public to comment on how the agency has met the Department of Education’s standards of compliance. Furthermore, the Department of Education will also check into any institutions that the agency has accredited or plans to accredit in order to ensure that the institution meets certain criteria and standards for academic excellence. Once a thorough evaluation has been completed, the agency can expect to undergo a hearing with the Department of Education’s Advisory Committee. Finally, the Secretary of Education makes the final decision and will thereby either grant or deny recognition to the agency.