Department of Health Professions
Academic Accreditation is an assurance of the quality of an academic program.
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) defines accreditation as "the primary means of assuring and improving the quality of higher education institutions and programs in the United States. Active for the past 100 years, this private, voluntary system of self-examination and peer review has been central to the creation of a U.S. higher education enterprise that is outstanding in many respects." Read more about the Value of Accreditation.
Undergraduate baccalaureate programs in parks, recreation and leisure services are eligible to apply for this accreditation. At present, no accrediting program exists for two-year programs or for advanced master's and doctoral programs in the field.
The Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions, formally established in 1974, conducts the process of accreditation for recreation, park resources and leisure services curricula. The Council was first recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation (COPA) in 1986 and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in 2003. Recognition by CHEA affirms that the standards and processes of the accrediting organization are consistent with the academic quality, improvement and accountability expectations that CHEA has established, including the eligibility standard that the majority of institutions or programs each accredits are degree-granting.
Degree mills and accreditation mills mislead and harm. In the United States, degrees and certificates from mills may not be acknowledged by other institutions when students seek to transfer or go to graduate school. Employers may not acknowledge degrees and certificates from degree mills when providing tuition assistance for continuing education. "Accreditation" from an accreditation mill can mislead student and the public about the quality of an institution. In the presence of degree mills and accreditation mills, students may spend a good deal of money and receive neither an education nor a usable credential.