Accreditation

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 embedded 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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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)

Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, May 2001CHEA_Logo.jpg

CHEA-Recognized Scope of Accreditation
Units in postsecondary institutions in the US and its territories having educational programs (majors) leading to a baccalaureate degree or degrees through which professionals are prepared for a career in family and consumer sciences or in the profession's career specializations. (2001)



Informational Statement Regarding Degree Mills and Accreditation Mills

Accreditation is a process used in the United States to assure the quality of the education that students receive. It is a voluntary, peer-review process that occurs on a regular basis. In promoting academic quality through accreditation, it is important for AAFCS and its accredited units to inform the public about the harm of degree mills and accreditation mills.

According to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), "Degree mills and accreditation mills mislead and harm. In the United States, degrees and certificates from mills may not be acknowledged by other institutions when students seek to transfer or go to graduate school. Employers may not acknowledge degrees and certificates from degree mills when providing tuition assistance for continuing education. "Accreditation" from an accreditation mill can mislead students and the public about the quality of an institution. In the presence of degree mills and accreditation mills, students may spend a good deal of money and receive neither an education nor a useable credential." Information on Degree and Accreditation Mills may be found through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Cautions concerning these are summarized in a video that can be viewed at http://chea.org/public_info/video_degree_mills.asp.