Founded in 1912, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) is one of the most respected and longest established national accreditor of academic institutions in the United States. It is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
The scope of ACICS recognition by the Secretary of Education is defined as accreditation of private postsecondary institutions offering certificates or diplomas, and postsecondary institutions offering associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in programs designed to educate students for professional, technical, or occupational careers, including those that offer those programs via distance education.
ACICS currently accredits more than 800 institutions throughout the United States and more than a dozen foreign countries enrolling over 800,000 students. ACICS is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia with offices maintained in the District of Columbia.
ACICS Mission Statement
The mission of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools is to advance
educational excellence at independent, nonpublic career schools, colleges, and organizations in the United States and abroad. This is achieved through a deliberate and thorough accreditation
process of quality assurance and enhancement as well as ethical business and educational practice.
ACICS is committed to the importance of a quality educational experience for all students.
The Council launched a Strategic Plan in 2014 to renew the ACICS commitment to educational excellence. A summary is provided
||About ACICS (PDF)
Get information about the top programs ACICS accredits, as well as our recognition by the US Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
|| ACICS Historical Timeline (PDF)
Review a quick guide to the major milestones in ACICS and accreditation history.
|| About ACICS Evaluators (PDF)
Peer Evaluators play a critical role in the ACICS accreditation process. To learn how, read our Evaluator Quick Guide or visit www.acics.org/evaluators for details.
||Detailed ACICS History
Review ACICS’s history since our founding in 1912. Our mission is the same now as it was then, “to establish and advance the quality of education and the standards of excellence at private career schools and colleges.”