Grad school accreditation in Ontario is a form of independent, professional certification which assures you that a graduate school or program adheres to particular standards.
Canada does not have a national system of academic accreditation. Education is overseen by each provincial government, and public institutions are given authority to grant degrees, diplomas and certificates through specific provincial regulations. This government recognition is a form of quality assurance, but is not official accreditation.
Another form of quality assurance is membership in national associations of universities, such as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS). The AUCC establishes standards of quality which schools must adhere to, and in order to be an institutional member of CAGS, a grad school must first 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).
Therefore, membership in the AUCC and compliance with provincial legislation is generally accepted in lieu of institutional accreditation. Ontario is one of 8 provinces that has established a second level of provincial higher education quality assurance, which is the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies and the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. These groups work with the Ministry of Education to review and make recommendations on institutions and programs.
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. Ontario 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 and government recognition ensure the quality of your graduate education: the school's programs are delivered by qualified faculty and are up-to-date. A degree or other credential from an accredited grad school or graduate program can help make you more competitive on the job market.
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