What are the main US Department of Education university accreditation organizations recognized?
There are some regional and some national accreditation organizations/agencies. Here are some of the most common ones referenced:
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education - for institutions in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including distance education programs in these states.
New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education - for institutions in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont including distance education programs.
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools,The Higher Learning Commission - for institutions in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming and including distance education.
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities - for institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington as well as distance learning programs.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges - for institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Distance learning programs in these institutions are also included.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities - for institutions in California, Hawaii, the United States territories of Guam and American Samoa, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, including distance education programs.
Distance Education and Training Council, Accrediting Commission - for institutions in the US that have distance learning programs at all levels.
This is a very important agency if you are planning on pursuing a degree online or through distance learning.
Are there any nongovernmental agencies that recognize institution accreditation organizations?
Yes. The main one is called the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) . It approves its accrediting agencies in a similar way the Secretary of Education does, however, it does provide all three (regional, national, and specialized) types of agencies and it also does not use federal spending to establish these agencies. The agencies involved must meet the standards of the CHEA in order to qualify for becoming an accreditation organization. For more information on the CHEA, please visit their website at www.chea.org.
If you are interested in more information on higher learning accreditation or want to check the online university accreditation of a school of interest, then you can visit the Us Department of Education website at www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html.