Full Sail University is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. There are, however, different types of accreditation, so we’ve created this general overview to provide some more information about accreditation and how it relates to your education.
The U.S. Department of Education describes the goal of accreditation as ensuring “that education provided by institutions of higher education [meet] acceptable levels of quality.” The quality of an institution’s education is measured by accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations that are regional, programmatic, or national in scope. These accrediting agencies develop evaluation criteria and determine through peer evaluations whether or not individual institutions, such as Full Sail University, meet those criteria.
One size does not fit all
Whether a school is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency generally depends on a number of factors. For Full Sail University, we chose national accreditation because our programs are designed to prepare students for defined careers, and we believe that ACCSC was the best fit to assess the quality of our programs. Each institution of higher education is unique in some way, and must determine what type of accreditation will work best to ensure and enhance the quality of its programs. The diversity of programs and education in America requires a diverse range of accreditors to review and evaluate those programs.
Is national accreditation better or worse than regional accreditation?
Neither. They are simply different. Generally, national accreditors are organizations that accredit mainly for-profit, career-based, single-purpose institutions – both degree-granting and non-degree-granting, and regional accreditors are organizations that accredit public and private, mainly non-profit and degree-granting, two- and four-year institutions. Both types of accreditation have strict guidelines regarding the quality of education an institution delivers; the compliance with which is audited on a regular basis. As we said above, each institution has to choose the type of accreditation that best fits its goals, and we believe that each student should think about what type of institution and what type of accreditation will best fit her or his goals.
What it means to students
We’re going to say it again – not all college students are the same and neither are their goals. Full Sail’s programs are designed for students who have committed themselves to working in a specific field and who want an education that prepares them for that field with direct experience in an accelerated and immersive educational process. We believe the singular, career-focused purpose of our students and our programs makes ACCSC’s national accreditation an appropriate fit for Full Sail’s educational approach. However, opinions about various types of accreditation can vary and it is important to determine in advance of enrolling whether or not our accreditation is consistent with your plans. If you have any questions please ask. We also encourage you to take a look at how our students perform after graduation and compare them to other programs you may be considering before making your college choice.
What about transferring credits?
Full Sail’s directed and career-oriented curriculum isn’t one that is replicated at many – if any – other institutions, and therefore, Full Sail can’t guarantee that any of its credits will be accepted at any other institution, or that credits received at any other institution will be accepted here. Credit transfer is solely at the discretion of the receiving institution. [For more on the topic of transferring credits, please see this post.]
Is Full Sail licensed to operate in Florida?
Yes. Full Sail University is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education, Florida Department of Education. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Commission at 325 West Gaines Street, Suite 1414, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400, toll-free (888) 224-6684.
Do you have any additional questions on accreditation and how it relates to your education? Ask us in the comments section.