Patrick Henry College is a candidate for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate-level degrees. Questions about the status of Patrick Henry College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website.
Patrick Henry College is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) [15935 Forest Road, Forest, VA 24551; Telephone: 434.525.9539; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org] having been awarded Reaffirmation 1 of its Accredited Status as a Category II institution by the TRACS Accreditation Commission on April 3, 2012; this status is effective for a period of ten years. TRACS is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is both a status and a process. As a status, accreditation provides public notification that an institution or program meets standards of quality set forth by an accrediting agency. As a process, accreditation reflects the fact that, in achieving recognition by the accrediting agency, the institution or program is committed to self-study and external review by its peers—seeking not only to meet standards but to continuously seek ways in which to enhance the quality of education and training provided. (See http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation/about/accreditation-process.aspx).
What are accrediting agencies?
In most other countries, the establishment and maintenance of educational standards is the responsibility of the central government bureau. In the United States, however, public authority in education is constitutionally reserved to the states. The system of voluntary non-governmental evaluation, called accreditation, has evolved to promote both regional and national approaches to the determination of educational quality. (See http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation.html#Overview).
What is the benefit of accreditation?
Quality education: Accreditation status indicates that a college, university, institution, or program meets the standards of quality set by the accreditation organization, in terms of faculty, curriculum, administration, libraries, financial well-being, and student services. While a student who attends an accredited college, university, or other institution of higher learning can be assured that he or she will receive a quality education, students should remember that a college or university's accreditation does not automatically guarantee a student's academic success. It is, of course, up to the individual student to make the most of the education he or she receives! Still, if a larger than average number of students attending a college or university are not successful and do not demonstrate a high level of educational performance, an accreditation organization may need to step in to examine the effectiveness of the institution and evaluate what aspects of the institution need to be improved. Aside from the promise of overall quality educational opportunities, an institution's accreditation status provides students with many other benefits as well.
Credit Transfer: At some point in their education, many students wish to transfer to a new program (such as graduate specialization) at another college or university. Most often, these students wish to transfer the course credits they have already accumulated to the new college or university. Accreditation is an important factor when a college or university is deciding whether to accept transfer credit from a student's previous school. Most colleges and universities will not accept transferred course credits from an institution that has not earned appropriate accreditation status from an accreditation organization.
Success in the Workplace: Most employers prefer to hire job applicants who have gained their education from a college or university with the appropriate accreditation status. Many employers also look to see that employees have been educated at an appropriately accredited institution when making decisions about business promotions, company advancements, and whether to provide tuition coverage or assistance for employees who wish or need to further their education. It is also common for states to require that a college, university, or program be accredited when allowing students to acquire state professional licensure.