Frequently Asked Questions about Accreditation


Accreditation is the recognition that an institution such as Johnson County Community College maintains the standards essential for our graduates to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that the education provided at JCCC meets acceptable levels of quality.

Accrediting agencies are organizations (or bodies) that establish operating standards for educational or professional institutions and programs, determine the extent to which the standards are met, and publicly announce their findings.

There are two basic types of educational accreditation, one identified as “institutional” and one referred to as “specialized” or “programmatic.” Institutional accreditation normally applies to an entire institution, indicating that each of an institution’s parts is contributing to the achievement of the institution’s objectives, although not necessarily all at the same level of quality. 

Specialized accreditation normally applies to the evaluation of programs, departments, or schools which usually are parts of a total collegiate or other postsecondary institution. The unit accredited may be as large as a college or school within a university or as small as a curriculum within a discipline. Most of the specialized accrediting agencies review units within a postsecondary institution which is accredited by one of the regional accrediting commissions. However, certain of the specialized accrediting agencies accredit professional schools and other specialized or vocational or other postsecondary institutions which are free-standing in their operations. Thus, a "specialized" or "programmatic" accrediting agency may also function in the capacity of an "institutional" accrediting agency. In addition, a number of specialized accrediting agencies accredit educational programs within non-educational settings, such as hospitals.
Accreditation does not provide automatic acceptance by a college or university of course credits earned at JCCC. It also doesn’t give assurance of acceptance of our graduates by employers. Acceptance of students or graduates is always determined by the receiving institution or employer. For these reasons students should take additional measures to determine, prior to enrollment, whether or not their educational goals will be met through attendance at JCCC. These should include learning which colleges or universities have transfer agreements with JCCC or what courses are required by prospective employers.
JCCC’s accreditation includes courses with all methods of delivery.  
Many states require an educational institution to be licensed to legally operate. This legal requirement is not accreditation, which determines the educational quality provided by the institution.