Accreditation is the result of a positive external review by an authorized agency such as The Higher Learning Commission (HLC): A Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation assures the public that a college, university, school, or program can do its job.
While many academic agencies accredit particular programs of study (nursing, business, physical therapy assistant, etc.), The Higher Learning Commission and other regional accrediting agencies are responsible for assuring that colleges and universities meet certain standards in terms of their missions, operations, and activities in teaching and student learning, discovery and promotion of knowledge, and service. Unaccredited schools are not eligible for many kinds of federal support.