Accreditation Overview

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Office of Accreditation and Assessment

What is accreditation? 

A mechanism developed to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality, accreditation is both a status and a process. As a status, accreditation provides public notification that an institution or program meets the standards of quality set forth by an accreditation agency. As a process, accreditation reflects the institution's or program's commitment to self-study and external review by its peers—not only to meet standards, but to continuously enhance the quality of education and training provided.

Accreditation agencies are private educational associations that develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether these criteria are met. Institutions or programs must meet an agency's criteria to be accredited by that agency.

College-wide accreditations include: 

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE): MSCHE assures students and the public of the educational quality of higher education. The Commission’s accreditation process ensures institutional accountability, self-appraisal, improvement, and innovation through peer review and the rigorous application of standards within the context of institutional mission.  More...

  • Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP): Founded in 2017, the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP) is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation services and formative support to all types of educator preparation providers. AAQEP promotes and recognizes quality educator preparation that strengthens the education profession’s ability to serve all students, schools, and communities, and to do so equitably. More...

  • A number of programs at Teachers College are accredited by specialized professional accreditation agencies, including programs in psychology, teacher education, and dietetics.  More...