What Is Accreditation?
When choosing a Master of Education degree program and school, it is important to research if your program is accredited and by whom. Accreditation happens at a regional and national level and is a voluntary set of standards set in place to ensure the quality of schools and their programs.
As defined by the U.S. Department of Education, the goal of accreditation is “...to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.”
Types of Accreditation
- Institutional — Evaluation of an entire institution.
- Specialized/Pragmatic — Evaluation of individual programs, departments, and/or schools within a postsecondary institution.
Why Accreditation Matters
When deciding on a degree program, it is important to make sure your program is regionally and/or nationally accredited. The main national accreditation agency is the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), however, there are a number of other accreditation agencies that require the same level of quality. Visit ED.gov’s list of Regional and National Institutional Accrediting Agencies or State Approval Agencies for more information about specific accreditation evaluations and if your program applies.
Admission into a CAEP-accredited (formerly NCATE) education program requires candidates to hold a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited institution. Most ME programs are designed for those who already have their teaching certification, and therefore require prerequisite courses in Education. Those without prior teaching experience may apply for their Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree.
Online Masters Accreditation
Interested in earning your master's degree online, but worried about their level of accreditation? Online schools and degree programs are subject to the same accreditation process(es) as on-campus programs and are held to the same high-standards under the Department of Education. The level and region of online masters accreditation vary by location, so contact your school and/or program of choice to learn more.