Regional accreditation is a term used in the United States to refer to the process by which one of several accrediting bodies, each serving one of six defined geographic areas of the country, accredits schools, colleges, and universities. Each regional accreditor encompasses the vast majority of public and nonprofit private educational institutions in the region it serves.
Regionally accredited schools are predominantly academically oriented, non-profit institutions. Nationally accredited schools are predominantly for-profit and offer vocational, career or technical programs. Every college has the right to set standards and refuse to accept transfer credits. However, if a student has gone to a nationally accredited school it may be particularly difficult to transfer credits (or even credit for a degree earned) if he or she then applies to a regionally accredited college. Some regionally accredited colleges have general policies against accepting any credits from nationally accredited schools, others are reluctant to because they feel that these schools' academic standards are lower than their own or they are unfamiliar with the particular school. The student who is planning to transfer credits from a nationally accredited school to a regionally accredited school should ensure that the regionally accredited school will accept the credits before they enroll in the nationally accredited school.
Accreditation, licensure, or approval of individual programs are listed in departmental sections. Copies of accreditation documents are available in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost, Oregon Tech, 3201 Campus Dr., Klamath Falls, OR 97601-8801.
List of Regional Accreditors Accepted by Oregon Tech
The following are the regional accrediting agencies for educational institutions in the United States:
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) - Post-secondary institutions (colleges and universities) in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education - Educational institutions in the six New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education - Educational institutions in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, as well as schools for American children in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
- Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association - Educational institutions in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges - Educational institutions in Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and Texas.
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities, and Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges - Educational institutions in California, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, Palau, and Northern Marianas Islands.