American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)


Accreditation Program Overview

The AAFCS Accreditation Program assures the public that accredited undergraduate family and consumer sciences programs provide the highest quality educational experiences and prepare students for professional roles to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities.

Accreditation standards for university programs and the criteria imbedded within the standards reflect the highest quality expectations defined by the profession.  As such, they are based on research, best practices, and qualitative indicators of performance, especially measures of program effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity, including those related to student learning outcomes.  As the profession evolves, standards for assessing quality may be redefined periodically.

The standards for accreditation are clear, valid for the profession, and reliably assessed by qualified peers.  The process for accreditation is rigorous, useful, non-burdensome, and technologically sensitive.  The standards and criteria for accreditation by AAFCS are applicable to all post-secondary family and consumer sciences programs, regardless of program differences such as size, scope, specialization, delivery methods, or public, private, or consortium affiliation.

Purposes of Accreditation

AAFCS accreditation has three basic purposes:

  • To Advance Academic Quality.  Standards have been designed to advance academic quality in bachelor’s degree programs in higher education.  Standards emphasize student achievement and high expectations of teaching and learning, research, service, and outreach.  Standards have been developed within the framework of the family and consumer sciences mission and philosophy.
  • To Demonstrate Accountability.  Units seeking accreditation have accountability standards that are consistent, clear, and communicated to the public and the greater higher education community.  Results of educational outcomes are readily available and used in planning for change and enhancing the program.
  • To Encourage, Where Appropriate, Planning and Implementation for Needed Improvement.  Accredited Units are encouraged to plan, where needed, for change and for improving the learning environment.  Units anticipate and address change in a timely and methodical manner.  Student achievement is stressed. 

Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Eligibility Statement

At its meeting on September 20-21, 2010, the CHEA Board of Directors reviewed the recommendation of the CHEA Committee on Recognition regarding the eligibility application submitted by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) Council for Accreditation. The board of directors determined that AAFCS is eligible to undertake a recognition review. AAFCS will complete a self-evaluation providing evidence that it meets the CHEA recognition standards. CHEA requires an observation visit to a decision-making meeting of the accrediting organization to observe decision-making activities as these relate to CHEA eligibility and recognition standards. The CHEA Committee on Recognition will review the self-evaluation, the report of the observation visit, and any third-party requests for comment and make a recommendation to the CHEA Board of Directors. The CHEA Board of Directors will make the final determination of recognition status.

Accreditation Program Support

Carol Anderson, CFCS, Director of Accreditation 
1-800-424-8080 or 703-706-4600, ext. 4622

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