Accreditation is both a condition and a process. The process involves the assessment of educational and institutional quality and the continued enhancement of education through the development and validation of standards. The condition provides a credential to the public signifying that an institution and/or its programs have fulfilled their commitment to educational quality.
There are two types of accreditation in the United States:
- Institutional accreditation is granted by national and regional accrediting commissions. The accrediting agency, in evaluating quality, looks at the whole institutional unit, such as a state university. Accreditation is awarded as a result of overall compliance with the accrediting agency's criteria. Accreditation by a recognized institutional accrediting body is, in many cases, necessary in order to facilitate a student's transfer or acceptance of credits.
- Specialized accreditation is bestowed on pre-professional and professional programs within institutions. Specialized accrediting groups establish standards of excellence in professional educational training programs for recognized professions.
Shippensburg University has both institutional and specialized accreditations. It is accredited by the: