Overview of CHEA

CHEA's Mission Statement:

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation will serve students and their families, colleges and universities, sponsoring bodies, governments, and employers by promoting academic quality through formal recognition of higher education accrediting bodies and will coordinate and work to advance self-regulation through accreditation.


The Responsibilities of the Council are to:


The Council for Higher Education Accreditation is an association of higher education institutions

Membership in the Council will include all degree-granting colleges and universities that pay the fee for membership in the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and are accredited by a body recognized by the Council. Initial membership will include those that were accredited by an accrediting body (51percent of whose accredited institutions award degrees) recognized by the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation at the time of its dissolution on December 31, 1993, or subsequently by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA) as of December 31, 1995.

The Board of Directors held their first meeting on July 1-2, 1996.

At that meeting the Board . . .

  • appointed an executive director who will serve in an interim capacity during 1996-97 to begin the CHEA operation. He is Dr. Larry A. Braskamp, Dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, whose scholarly expertise is in the area of academic assessment and accountability. The Board will proceed immediately to search for a permanent chief executive officer.
  • began to plan for an orderly transition of the recognition of accrediting bodies from the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA). CHEA will assume the recognition function during Fall 1996 and will begin immediately to investigate means by which the recognition process may be revised for greater effectiveness and efficiency.
  • set as a top priority planning for policy formulation in preparation for the 1997 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. CHEA will work with other associations to assure that the critical role of accreditation in American higher education is emphasized in presentations and discussions relative to reauthorization.
  • set as another top priority the opening of lines of communication with the entire higher education community, including colleges and universities, accrediting agencies, higher education associations, the U. S. Department of Education, and state agencies. The message is that voluntary accreditation, carried out by peer review processes, is a cooperative effort that is designed not only to monitor and assure quality of higher education programs and institutions but also to improve quality on a continuous basis.

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