Accreditation, Validation, Articulation & Licensure
What is Accreditation?
According to the US Department of Education, "Accreditation is the recognition that an institution maintains standards requisite for its graduates to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality." Accreditation may refer to two types: institutional and to programmatic or specialized accreditation. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) defines differently: "Accreditation is a process of external quality review used by higher education to scrutinize colleges, universities, and educational programs for quality assurance and quality improvement."
Will Attending an Accredited University Guarantee My Courses Will Transfer?
Again, according to the US Department of Education, "Accreditation does not provide automatic acceptance by an institution of credit earned at another institution, nor does it give assurance of acceptance of graduates by employers. Acceptance of students or graduates is always the prerogative of the receiving institution or employer. For these reasons, besides ascertaining the accredited status of a school or program, students should take additional measures to determine, prior to enrollment, whether or not their educational goals will be met through attendance at a particular institution. These measures should include inquiries to institutions to which transfer might be desired or to prospective employers and, if possible, personal inspection of the institution at which enrollment is contemplated."
What if an Institution or Program is NOT accredited? Does that mean it’s Bad?
According to the CHEA: Not necessarily, but it does mean one should review as much information as possible about the institution before enrollment. An institution or program may be new and may not have met minimum standards to even be considered eligible for accreditation. If an institution or program is not accredited, it should have some other means of quality review.
What is the Current Situation Regarding Accreditation at Missional University?
Since we expect a formal launch of the Missional University in 2018, Missional University is currently not accredited -- nor can be for at least four to six years after launch which is the normal accreditation process time frame.
Thus, as a grassroots training institution designed to equip missional leaders (volunteer, bivocational and vocational; paid and unpaid), the Missional University is currently not accredited.
However, all of our faculty have advanced degrees from accredited institutions and have experience in their fields. During course development, each professor is guided by our Dean of Online Education and submits their course to a faculty peer-review process. This process ensures measurable standards of excellence in course design are met or exceeded.
In the future we plan to become accredited. We are exploring our choices for regional accreditation, national faith-related accreditation, and other national accreditation agencies. Once we begin working through that process we will update this page to reflect our current stage.
See also the Accreditation Standards and Best Practices Guidelines page.
We offer Certificates, Associate Degrees and Bachelor Completion Degrees, Graduate Certificates, and Master's Degrees that lead to missional roles of service in the mission of God. We plan to begin Doctoral Degrees in the future.
Will My Courses Transfer to Another College or University?
In the interest of laying out the facts, here is what you need to know:
- NO college or university can guarantee that their courses will transfer to another university (see above statement from the US Department of Education) unless they have established an "articulation agreement" that specifies that the receiving institution will accept the credits.
- NO college or university that is recognized by CHEA can deny transfer of credit solely on the basis that the originating institution is not accredited - they must do "due diligence" to validate the credit-worthiness of the course. (see below on Validation)
So, How Will Missional University Handle Transfer Credit During the Pre-Accreditation Stage?
We provide students with both transcripts and other documentation for them to use that validates the quality of their courses as they submit their work for transfer credit at another institution. As we develop articulation agreements with a select number of colleges and universities to facilitate transfer credit, a link to that information will be posted on the left.