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A Primer On Allied Health School Accreditation

A Primer On Allied Health School Accreditation

Marlborough, MA, May 6, 2008

Accreditation for Allied Health Schools and Programs

Accreditation is a process of peer review of educational institutions by independent, non-governmental, accrediting agencies to assure the quality of the institution and the programs that it offers. Understanding the accreditation status of educational institutions that offer allied health programs of study is a critical part of the school/program evaluation process for any prospective student.

There are two types of accreditation in the United States:

  • Institutional accreditation which may be provided by a regional, national, or specialized accrediting body.
  • Specialized or programmatic accreditation which provides accreditation for a specific program of study.

For most schools offering allied health education programs there will typically be both an institutional and one or more specialized accreditations. Sometimes the specialized accrediting body can provide both institutional and program accreditation.

It is very important for a prospective student to obtain their education from an accredited institution/program that is recognized by the U.S Department of Education (USDE). It improves the availability of financial aid and acceptance of the education by potential employers (see "Checking Accreditation Status" later in this document).

Regional, National, and Specialized Institutional Accrediting Agencies

The following regional, national, or specialized accrediting agencies may provide accreditation to schools that provide allied health programs of study:

Please note: All of the above are recognized by the USDE.

Specialized or Programmatic Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs

The following accrediting bodies provide accreditation for the indicated areas of allied health study:

Allied Health ProfessionAccrediting BodyRecognition
Anesthesiologist AssistantCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Art TherapistAmerican Art Therapy AssociationNone
Athletic TrainerCommission on Accreditation of Athletic Training EducationNone
AudiologistCouncil on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationCHEA, USDE
Cardiovascular TechnologistCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Clinical AssistantNational Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory SciencesCHEA
Clinical laboratory scientist/medical technologistNational Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory SciencesCHEA
Clinical laboratory technician/medical laboratory technicianNational Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory SciencesCHEA
Community counselorCouncil for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education ProgramsCHEA
Cytogenetic TechnologistNational Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory SciencesCHEA
CytotechnologistCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Dance TherapyAmerican Dance Therapy AssociationNone
Dental AssistantCommission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental AssociationUSDE
Dental HygienistCommission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental AssociationUSDE
Dental Laboratory TechnicianCommission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental AssociationUSDE
Diagnostic Medical SonographerCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Diagnostic Molecular Scientist National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory SciencesCHEA
Dietetic TechnicianCommission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetic AssociationCHEA, USDE
Dietician/NutritionistCommission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetic AssociationCHEA, USDE
Electroneurodiagnostic TechnologistCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Emergency Medical Technician-ParamedicCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Exercise Physiologist (Applied and Clinical)Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Exercise Science Professional Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Genetic CounselorAmerican Board of Genetic CounselingNone
Health Information AdministratorCommission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information ManagementNone
Health Information TechnicianCommission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information ManagementNone
Histologic technician/technologistNational Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory SciencesCHEA
KinesiotherapistCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Low Vision TherapistAssociation for Education and rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually ImpairedNone
Marriage and family counselor/therapistCouncil for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education ProgramsCHEA
Medical AssistantCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Medical IllustratorCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Medical LibrarianMedical Library AssociationNone
Mental health counselorCouncil for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education ProgramsCHEA
Message TherapistCommission on Massage Therapy AccreditationUSDE
Music therapistNational Association of Schools of MusicCHEA, USDE
Nuclear medicine technologistJoint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine TechnologyCHEA, USDE
Occupational TherapistAccreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education American Occupational Therapy AssociationCHEA, USDE
Occupational Therapy AssistantAccreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education American Occupational Therapy AssociationCHEA, USDE
Ophthalmic AssistantCommission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical ProgramsNone
Ophthalmic Dispensing OpticianCommission on Opticianry AccreditationNone
Ophthalmic Laboratory TechnicianCommission on Opticianry AccreditationNone
Ophthalmic Medical Technician/TechnologistCommission on Accreditation of Ophthalmic Medical ProgramsNone
Orientation and Mobility SpecialistAssociation for Education and rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually ImpairedNone
OrthoptistAmerican Orthoptic CouncilNone
Orthotist/ProsthetistCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Pathologists' assistantNational Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory SciencesCHEA
PerfusionistCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Pharmacy TechnicianAmerican Society of Health-System PharmacistsNone
Phlebotomist National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory SciencesCHEA
Physical TherapistCommission on accreditation in Physical TherapyCHEA, USDE
Physical Therapist AssistantCommission on accreditation in Physical TherapyCHEA, USDE
Physician AssistantAccreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician AssistantCHEA
Polysomnographic Technologist Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Radiation therapistJoint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic TechnologyCHEA, USDE
RadiographerJoint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic TechnologyCHEA, USDE
Rehabilitation counselorCouncil on Rehabilitation EducationCHEA
Rehabilitation TeacherAssociation for Education and rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually ImpairedNone
Respiratory Therapist (Advanced)Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Respiratory Therapist (Entry-Level)Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
School counselorCouncil for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education ProgramsCHEA
Specialist in Blood Bank TechnologyCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Speech-language pathologistCouncil on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationCHEA, USDE
Student affairs practitionerCouncil for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education ProgramsCHEA
Surgical AssistantCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Surgical TechnologistCommission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education ProgramsCHEA
Teacher of the Visually ImpairedAssociation for Education and rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually ImpairedNone

Note:

Also see: List of all accrediting organizations recognized by CHEA or USDE

Checking Accreditation Status

The U.S. Department of Education offers a database that allows individuals to check on the accreditation status of a specific institution and program of study. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation also has a similar database. Never simply take the word of the institution. It is important to check the most current status of an educational institution's accreditation. See:

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