When you begin your fashion college research, the first word you should look for is “accreditation”. Also, when looking for information on the web or when using your high school or neighborhood library, you should add that search term as #1 on your list.
You might be wondering what “accreditation” means, and why it’s important to you in selecting the best fashion college to obtain your degree. Let’s begin with a definition. In a follow-up post, I’ll discuss the components of accreditation so that you will learn why it is important.
Accreditation is defined as a voluntary, independent review process of educational institutions and programs to assure you that the education and degree you are going to receive is of excellent quality.
Simply put, it is a school’s stamp of approval from its peers. Accreditation indicates superiority.
Your first task on your fashion college selection checklist should be to find out if the college of your choice is accredited. Don’t assume that it is. There are numerous trade and vocational colleges that are not.
Check out the college’s website, and do a search thereon for the word “accreditation”. Also, find out which accrediting agencies endorse the college you’re considering.
The best colleges have both regional or institutional accreditation and specialized/programmatic ones for academic departments and/or disciplines. Ask about the status of both types of accreditation.
Accredited colleges have undergone a rigorously complicated process to become accredited. The value of your college degree in the job market is predicated on whether or not your college of coice is accredited.
Here’s a further explanation about the 2 basic types of educational accreditation:
- Specialized/Programmatic. This type applies to programs, departments, or schools that are part of the college. The accredited unit may be as large as a college or school within the college, institute, or university, or as small as a curriculum with a specific discipline.
- Institutional. This type applies to the entire institution. The various commissions of the regional accrediting agencies perform institutional accreditation.
The next follow-up blog posting will discuss why the U.S. Department of Education has determined that fashion college accreditation is an important consideration when you select your higher education institution.
Stay tuned for more information about accredited fashion colleges.