What I learned from my research, is that colleges seek accreditation for many of the same reasons as our contractors. First, accreditation provides a status that ensures policy makers, funders, students, and the public that the college is adhering to its mission and mandate. Second, being accredited helps to ensure that the institution is integral and provides a quality education that meets a certain standard. Third, accreditation enhances a college’s reputation on both a national and international level, thus increasing the chances of attracting both Canadian and foreign students to the college.
In addition to status, accreditation also provides a process for continual improvement of the educational experience for students. Smaller colleges have expressed their appreciation for the accreditation process because it gives them a benchmark whereby they can know that they provide the type of quality education that people expect from larger institutions. This reminds me of our smaller contractors, who seek accreditation to raise their own bar and receive the same level of recognition as the larger agencies we work with. Of note, my research also showed that smaller colleges are seeking US accreditation because it raises their reputation even more on a global level.
Below, I have highlighted the main resources I explored during my research for this blog post. I have included them here for anyone who has an interest in why Canadian colleges seek accreditation.