Posted by: Nesha Milicevic
When Students look for educational institutions, one of the standards is that the educational institution is accredited. Accreditation is a process by which an educational program is evaluated against defined criteria by a third party. If it is in compliance with the criteria, the program is awarded recognition attesting to its compliance. It should be a flexible mechanism that translates best practices in program development, delivery and improvement, and outcomes measurement into a defined set of criteria which can be used as a benchmark for programs. When the baseline criteria are met, programs are accredited. If a school fails to meet the necessary standards during the accreditation process, it becomes subject to further investigation, which usually results in a loss of accreditation. Some of the issues that can cause a school to lose its accreditation are, course hours that run well-below the mandated minimum of 110 hours, a shortage of qualified teachers, and students paying a fee to retake exams and have their grades inflated.
The best example is McGill University’s prestigious medical school program was put on probation and was at the risk of losing its accreditation after an inspection found the undergraduate medical education program failed to meet 24 of 132 required standards. Amongst other issues, the University did not meet the standards when it comes to the quality of women’s health education and Students’ overall learning experience. It was also noted that black and Filipino, as well as Indigenous Students are underrepresented, Low parental income and education levels are underrepresented as well. McGill was also cited for lack of progress recruiting students from rural backgrounds.
It is also important to do a thorough evaluation. This should be done in order to ensure proper decision making, judgements, conclusion, findings, new knowledge, organizational development and capacity building.
I work for a College that is accredited. All schools must have a clearly defined mission in order to be accredited. They have to better educate and serve Students, and demonstrate that the school has the resources to achieve its mission while showing evidence of the mission being achieved. Schools are audited on a regular basis to make sure that all the accreditation standards are being met.