What Are The Different Types Of Criminal Justice School Accreditation?
For web-based criminology and criminal justice related distance education programs, the Criminal Justice Distance Learning Consortium (CJDLC) has laid down accreditation guidelines. These guidelines are themselves based on those developed by the Southern Regional Electronic Campus (SREC), the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) and regional academic acrrediting agencies including thezz Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Western Association of Colleges and Schools.
The CJDLC guidelines without actually duplicating them, incorporate the basics of these organizations. The premise is that the applying institutions have already fulfilled the quality standards of these local and regional accrediting agencies.
Regional Accrediting agencies refer to six main bodies, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia), the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Panama).
Also, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming), the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (California, Hawaii, the territories of Guam, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Pacific Basin and East Asia) and the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington).
There are also two additional bodies within the main RA, which are behind the Best Practices movement in distance education and include the Western Association’s Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities and North Central’s Higher Learning Commission.
Accreditation from any of these eight groups is considered to be the best accreditation possible for a school. They are also recipients of the US Department of Education funding and their method of operation is mainly by site visit-peer review.
Following RA-accreditation there are also DETC and ACCSCT accredited schools. At these levels there are some outstanding program-level accreditation schemes. In some cases, the school itself may not be accredited but specific courses of study may be accredited.