This past week Bridgewater State University underwent its accreditation through the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Starting on October 31st through November 2nd NECHE conducts surveys to determine whether or not BSU meets the institution’s standards.
NECHE is a non-governmental membership association that provides assurance to prospective and current students and their families by accrediting the institutions of New England. They evaluate each institution through a series of criteria: the institution has clearly defined purposes appropriate to an institution of higher learning; has assembled and organized those resources necessary to achieve its purposes; is achieving its purposes; has the ability to continue to achieve its purposes.
In order to meet those criteria and be affiliated with NECHE there are many other categories of criteria that need to be met. 20 are listed in the ‘Requirements for Affiliation’ including: awards the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctor’s degree; offers one or more collegiate-level education programs, consistent with its mission, that leads to degrees in recognized fields of study and that require at least one year to complete.
NECHE inspects each institution once every 10 years and credits over 200 institutions. The U.S. government recognizes these organizations as reliable groups and experts on the quality of education. The accreditation process is so important because only the institutions who have been accredited are eligible to participate in federal Title IV funding, student financial aid.
Part of the process includes conducting meetings, interviews and surveys with students and faculty members. A student open forum was held in RSU on Monday, October 31st by NECHE in order for them to interact with students.