How does an institution apply for ACICS Accreditation?

1. Eligibility.  Before an institution may submit an application for accreditation, it must demonstrate that it is eligible for accreditation. ACICS' eligibility requirements are described in the Accreditation Criteria, Title I, Chapter 2. If you feel that your institution is eligible, please describe in writing how the institution meets each eligibility requirement and enclose a copy of the institution’s catalog. ACICS will request some preliminary information to determine the institutions general eligibility to apply for accreditation. Please note that the institutions is expected to have generated sufficient number of students (from 7 to 10 students) in each program and also have current enrollees for ACICS to be able to assess the effectiveness of each program.

2. Application.  Once it has been determined that an institution appears to meet the Council’s minimum eligibility requirements, the institution is invited to submit an application for accreditation. The application materials are provided at this time.  The application is valid for one year from the date  submitted to ACICS. An audited financial statement for the most recently completed fiscal year (see related FAQ) is required. A non-refundable application fee of $5,000 for each main location and $2,500 for each branch campus are among the required components. Institutional officers may be required to attend an Initial Applicant Workshop or a visit with the ACICS staff.

3. Initial Resource Visit.  Following receipt of complete and acceptable application materials, the institution undergoes a resource visit to assess the institution’s eligibility and readiness to proceed with the self-study phase of the application. This visit is conducted by a staff representative. The institution is responsible for the expenses incurred in connection with the resource visit.

4. Self-Study.  If the results of the resource visit indicate the institution is eligible, the institution is invited to complete the self-study phase of the application process. The chief on-site administrator of the institution is required to attend an Accreditation Workshop within 18 months prior to the submission of the self-study. The self-study materials and Accreditation Workshop registration forms are available on this Web site.

Once the institution has completed these first four steps, the procedures for preparing the self-study and completing the application for an initial grant do not differ from those currently accredited institutions seeking a new grant or a renewal of accreditation.

5. An initial on-site evaluation team visit is conducted at the institution. The number and background of team members and length of the visit depends on a number of factors including:
o level of accreditation of institution
o size of institution
o type of visit to be conducted
o type of academic programs offered by institution
o number and other special circumstances

6.  For most initial visits, a team will have a minimum of a chair, one or more team members, and a staff member. The  team reviews the institution's self-study, compares it with the actual activities at the institution, and  reports its observations in relationship to the standards contained in the Accreditation Criteria. The institution is responsible for the expenses incurred by the evaluation visit team.

7. The institution is provided with a copy of the evaluation visit team report and is invited to submit a response. The report, response, self-study, audited financial statements, and any other information about the institution are considered by the Council which meets three times each year: April, August, and December. At these meetings, applications for accreditation are considered and accreditation decisions made.