Application Process

Frequently asked questions and an overview of the application process, beginning with the Pre-Workshop Application for Initial Applicant Schools.

Initial Application Process​

The Pre-Workshop Application for Initial Applicant Schools is the first step required for any institution seeking initial accreditation from ACCSC, or for any institution currently accredited by another institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education that is seeking initial accreditation from ACCSC. 

Following acceptance of the pre-workshop application, the school director must view the Welcome to ACCSC video (approximately 9 minutes) then complete the accompanying assessment (approximately 5 minutes). Upon successful completion of the assessment, ACCSC staff will follow up with workshop registration instructions.

At the Accreditation Workshop, the Commission provides training and resources which will assist schools as they strive towards a meaningful self-evaluation and on-site evaluation experience. In order to prepare for the Accreditation Workshop, participants are required to arrive at the workshop having read the most current Standards of Accreditation.

  • Due 6 months after attending the Accreditation Workshop
  • The ACCSC Financial Review Committee will evaluate the year‐end financial statements (audited statements) submitted with the Application for Initial Accreditation ‐ Part I, prior to the acceptance of the application. Should the financial statements indicate that the institution may not be financially sound, the Committee will instruct staff to advise the institution that pursuit of accreditation will rely upon a demonstration of financial viability.

Upon acceptance of Application Part I, initial applicant schools are expected to comply with the Standards of Accreditation.

Due no later than 6 months from the date that the Commission accepted the School’s Application for Initial Accreditation Part I.

An ACCSC staff member will conduct an Orientation On-Site Evaluation after the initial submission of the Self-Evaluation Report.

The Orientation Evaluation Report provides a summary of the areas that may require correction or additional documentation in order to demonstrate compliance with accrediting standards, as well as observations or recommendations.

The due date will be provided as part of the Orientation Evaluation Report

The On-Site Evaluation is to verify data in the school’s reports, applications, responses, and any other information submitted to the Commission; seek additional information; and, in general, develop an understanding and perform an assessment of how well the school meets its objectives and the Standards of Accreditation. ACCSC compiles and maintains a list of qualified on-site evaluators and, to the extent practicable, will match their qualifications with the schools they evaluate.

The On-Site Evaluation Report is a factual report and summary of the on-site evaluation team’s findings as to the school’s compliance with accrediting standards. Each member of the on-site evaluation team contributes to the On-Site Evaluation Report for those phases of the on-site evaluation for which the member is responsible. The On-Site Evaluation Report represents the combined findings of the team.

The school has an opportunity to respond to the On-Site Evaluation Report and to submit any information and documentation that the school may wish to place before the Commission in order to demonstrate compliance with accreditation standards.

The Commission meets regularly to review the materials of each school on the agenda, which will include the On-Site Evaluation Report and school’s response along with any other pertinent information that may affect the accreditation decision.

The Commission’s decision is articulated in a letter and serves as the official record of the Commission’s consideration. The letter is issued approximately 30 days after the conclusion of the Commission meeting and contains detailed information regarding the school’s accredited status and any response requirements.

Substantive Change Process

Please see Section IV Rules of Process and Procedure, Standards of Accreditation, for the procedures related to each specific substantive change.

ACCSC provides schools with the following resources for schools completing substantive changes:

(Commission Level review) 


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