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What is accreditation software?

Topics in Higher Education

Higher education institutions seek and maintain accreditation in order for students and employers to regard them as reputable. Accreditation software streamlines the process, making it faster and easier to meet all criteria necessary to gain accreditation. Find out more about accreditation and how accreditation software can automate this process.

What is accreditation software?

This innovative technology saves time and improves record keeping accuracy for higher education institutions that want to gain or maintain accreditation. Accreditation software helps organizations gather the documentation that is necessary to earn and maintain accreditation status. The right accreditation software will fit seamlessly into your workflow, rather than force you to adjust your operational functions to match its specifications.

To achieve and manage accreditation status, organizations may be required to consider the value of investing in faculty. Because many accreditation agencies require schools to hire a qualified and diverse faculty, it’s important to provide administrative university staff with the tools to succeed in this endeavor. One example of such tools are online IT solutions for managing faculty data collection, including Interfolio Faculty Search.

How much does accreditation cost?

The accreditation process is an important step for colleges and universities seeking to legitimize their programs. In addition, accreditation is required in order for an institution’s students to apply for loans and federal financial aid. 

Every accreditation agency has different fees to attain and maintain membership. For example, the current standard accreditation fees for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) are as follows:

  • Annual membership dues and fees: $5,950-$9,600
  • One-time eligibility application submission fee: $2,000
  • One-time IAC acceptance fee: $6,500
  • One-time initial accreditation application fee: $5,950

An organization may also be responsible for the travel costs of peer review team members and other external parties involved in the accreditation process. If the peer review team defers your application, your organization will need to pay for them to make a second visit.

The exact costs associated with the travels of mentors and peer review team members vary based on a number of factors, including how far of a distance they need to travel to make it to your organization and the number of times each representative group needs to visit the school. The standard fees associated with these visits from the AACSB — excluding the cost of travel — are as follows:

  • Initial business accreditation visit application fee: $15,000
  • Deferral visit fee: $5,500

How long does the process take, and can accreditation software help?

According to the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, it can take a school from 18 months to two years to finish the initial accreditation process. The exact timeline depends on multiple factors. One variable that can slow the process down significantly is when an organization passes along incorrect or invalid data to the accreditation organization. This can happen when organizations use manual strategies for collecting information, as human error becomes a factor.

Accreditation software helps solve this problem. When institutions use an accreditation management system, they are automating the program review process, making each step simpler and more accurate. Interfolio’s Faculty Activity Reporting helps institutions efficiently gather and analyze faculty data, and it includes a built-in capability to produce customizable accreditation reports. This enables institutions to send accrediting agencies the right information in a timely manner, speeding the accreditation process.

Is the accreditation process easy to navigate?

There’s no doubt that accreditation is beneficial in building credibility for higher education institutions. However, the process to attain initial accreditation can be difficult. When you use a manual process, you might be dealing with stacks of paperwork. Do you have the time to sift through the paper to determine what matters to accreditation agencies? This challenge is why universities and colleges are opting for an automated process instead. With a high-quality accreditation management software system in place, institutions can anticipate a much easier and more streamlined process, and workflow tracking and automation reduces the likelihood of inaccuracy and lack of compliance.

Whether you’re a tenured faculty member, new academic, administrator, or another stakeholder involved in a higher education institution, you should ensure that your organization has achieved and maintained all accreditation requirements. Interfolio can streamline the accreditation process, putting your institution on the path to success.