Accreditation is a voluntary, nongovernmental peer-review process by the higher education community that aims to assure academic quality and accountability and to encourage improvement. 

What is an Accrediting Agency?

Accrediting agencies are private, nongovernmental organizations created for the specific purpose of reviewing higher education institutions and programs for quality.

As an institution, Merrimack College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Commission indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Types of Accreditation

The U.S. Department of Education notes that there are two basic types of educational accreditation, one referred to as “institutional” and the other referred to as “specialized” or “programmatic.”

Institutional accreditation applies to an entire institution, indicating that each of an institution’s parts is contributing to the achievement of the institution’s objectives. The regional and national accreditors perform institutional accreditation.

Specialized or programmatic accreditation normally applies to programs, departments, or schools that are parts of an institution. The accredited unit may be as large as a college or school within a university or as small as a curriculum within a discipline.

For more information on Merrimack’s accreditations, please click on the link below.