Accreditation is a form of independent, professional certification that assures you and your parents that a school or program adheres to particular standards. Accreditation of grad schools in Canada therefore ensures the quality of your education.
Institutional Since Canadian education is regulated provincially (not by the federal government), there is no national accreditation system for academic institutions. Public institutions are given authority to grant degrees, diplomas and certificates through specific provincial regulations, and these institutions are therefore "recognized." Government recognition is a form of quality assurance, but is not official accreditation.
Another form of quality assurance is membership in national associations like the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) or the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS). The AUCC establishes standards of quality, and a school's membership means it has been evaluated as meeting those standards. To be an institutional member of CAGS, a grad school must be a member of the AUCC. Christian grad schools may have separate accreditation from The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) or The Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
Program Specific Professional accreditation means a specific grad school department or program has been evaluated as meeting the standards of the accrediting agency of a certain profession. Some accrediting agencies accredit programs, and others accredit individual graduates of certain programs. Canadian grad school programs may be accredited by both Canadian and US agencies, such as:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA)
Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)
Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA)
Why Accreditation? Accreditation assures you and your parents that the school's programs are delivered by qualified faculty and are up-to-date. A degree or other credential from an accredited school or program can help make you more competitive on the job market.
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