Initial Application

ACICS is committed to collaborating with the institution in effecting a smooth and deliberate path toward meeting ACICS criteria and attaining an accreditation status. Unlike many accrediting agencies, there is no pre-candidacy or candidacy status with ACICS. The entire process may take from nine months (if there are absolutely no areas of non-compliance) to 24 months. Shown below is a summary of the typical process. 





STEP 1: Complete the Initial Applicant Self-Assessment Checklist. Both the Main and each Branch campus MUST meet these minimum standards of eligibility. Do Not proceed to Step 2 unless you meet the minimum standards of eligibility listed on the Initial Applicant Self-Assessment Checklist


STEP 2: Submit the ACICS Program Enrollment and Graduation Data 
Sheet (a separate form is required for each Main and Branch campus)

Initial applicants who meet the minimum standards of eligibility listed on the Initial Applicant Self-Assessment Checklist, should complete the ACICS Program Enrollment and Graduation Data Sheet for the Main and each Branch campus and email the document(s) to subject line of the email MUST include the official institution name, “Initial Applicant” and identify if the form is for the Main or Branch

[Example: Subject: ABC Institution – Initial Applicant – Main Campus or

Subject: ABC Institution – Initial Applicant – Tucson Branch]  


STEP 3: Register as an Institution

Registration Instructions 

The person completing the registration will be responsible for communicating the logon and password with key institution personnel. This logon and password will be for the institution and shared only at the discretion of the CEO or campus president.

Data related to your institution demographics, structure, student enrollment, personnel and mission will be asked.

PLEASE remember to record your logon and password as it will be needed to complete the accreditation process. 



STEP 4: Review Submitted Documentation

ACICS will review the information submitted by the initial applicants through registration and the Program Enrollment and Graduation Data Sheet(s).

If the initial applicant has met the minimum standards of eligibility and ACICS’s preliminary decision is that the institution is eligible for accreditation, the institution will be informed via email. The email will be sent to the address entered during registration.  





STEP 5: Purchase an Initial Accreditation Application

Prior to purchasing the Initial Accreditation Application, applicants need to view the online form by clicking here. The applicant, after receiving approval from ACICS and when ready to purchase the application at a fee of $5,000, should logon using the username and password created during registration. 

Purchase Instructions


STEP 6: Submit documents required to complete the initial application process

After you have submitted the online application, follow Step 6-7 of the Instructions for Purchasing an Application. The documents required for the upload at this stage in the process include: State Authorization to Operate, Initial AIR, Catalog, Ownership Disclosure, Audited Financials. The institution must upload the documents according to the Initial Accreditation procedures




STEP 7: Review 

ACICS will review submitted documentation.  

 ACICS & Institution


STEP 8: Schedule Resource Visit 

ACICS, in agreement with the institution, will schedule a Resource Visit. An invoice will be generated and sent to the institution for payment. 


STEP 9: Submit payment for the initial Resource Visit 

Payment for the initial Resource Visit is done through the ACICS e-business site. Once you log on go to My Account/My Orders.

Click Here for instructions on how to pay for a product. Credit cards are the accepted method for payment. 


STEP 10: Conduct a Resource Visit

It is not the intent of this visit to check the institution’s compliance with all ACICS standards. The function of the resource visit is to verify the application, visit with key individuals on campus, examine a sample of the records, and assess the general readiness of the institution to pursue accreditation.



STEP 11: Log on and go to "In Process Applications" (step 5-7) of Instructions for Purchasing an Application.
Submit the following documents:

• Explanation
• Future Plans
• Initial AIR
• Catalog
• Ownership/Control Disclosure Form
• Academic Credit Analysis
• Inventory of Equipment
• Faculty and Admin Staff Summary Form
• Self Study Narrative  

Self-study Reports are due at least 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the Visit Cycle. If the Resource Visit is satisfactory, the institution should logon and upload the documents associated with the Self-study.

In addition to the required documents, the institution must have evidence that key individuals attended an ACICS Accreditation Workshop prior to the completion of the Self-Study. The Accreditation workshop provides valuable guidance to the Self-Study process. Click here for Instructions on How to Register for a Workshop. 





STEP 12: Schedule Grant Visit

ACICS schedules the dates for the team visit in coordination with the institution. ACICS will submit an invoice for the Grant Visit






STEP 13: Submit payment for the Grant Visit

Payment for the Grant Visit is done through the ACICS e-business site.

Click Here for instructions on how to pay for a product. Credit cards are the accepted method for payment. 




STEP 14: Institution will be sent a copy of the team report and invited to respond.

If possible, the institution may correct or address any citations. 

Intermediate Review Council (IRC)




STEP 15: All of the materials pertaining to the institution and reports of the visit will be reviewed by the IRC members.

Their recommendation will be submitted to the Council for consideration. 

The IRC may recommend an Initial Grant of accreditation for a specified period of time, or a deferral for further action by the institution, or denial.





STEP 16: The Council made up of 15 Commissioners will review the entire file and the recommendation of the IRC.

The Council takes an action on the accreditation application. 

The Council meets in April, August, and December each year. Actions of the Council will be sent in writing within approximately 2 weeks.

 If you need more information on the eligibility requirements and the initial application process, please contact
Dr. Joseph E. Gurubatham, Director of Campus Development at (202) 336-6797.