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Accreditation - Is Westwood Accredited?

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Q&A with Lou Pagano, Chief Operating Officer at Westwood College

The following conversation focuses on accreditation and how the process impacts Westwood students:

What is accreditation?

What are the benefits to students of attending an accredited school?

What accreditation does Westwood currently have?

Why is Westwood nationally accredited?

What about transferring credits?
 

Lou PaganoWhat is accreditation?

Lou: Accreditation is a voluntary process that academic institutions participate in to demonstrate that they meet certain academic standards. These standards focus on the quality of teaching, learning, and services offered by the institution. Through the accrediting process, colleges or universities are regularly evaluated, and those that meet the standards are approved by an accrediting agency. Career-focused colleges, such as Westwood, and more traditional private or public universities and community colleges all go through an accreditation review to ensure that they meet the accrediting standards for education and serve their students well.

There are different types of accreditation – including regional, national and program-specific accreditation. Colleges and universities voluntarily apply to receive their accreditation from different bodies or different accrediting agencies. Westwood College is nationally accredited.

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What are the benefits to students of attending an accredited school?

Lou: We strongly encourage all students to attend only accredited colleges and universities. This stamp of approval from an accrediting agency ensures that the college or university is meeting standard requirements for educating its students. By attending a nationally accredited institution such as Westwood, students have access to federal loans and grants, which many of our students utilize*.

Another important benefit for students is that it affirms the value of students' degrees when they enter the job market to start their careers. If you do run into concerns about Westwood or its accreditation, you can direct your employer to the U.S. Department of Education's web page on accreditation issues.Accreditation also has profound but less obvious benefits to students in the way it shapes their learning experience.

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What accreditation does Westwood currently have?

Lou: Westwood is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). ACICS was founded in 1912 and is the largest national accrediting organization of degree-granting institutions. ACICS accredits professional, technical and occupational programs, and is one of two national accreditors recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. 

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Why is Westwood nationally accredited?

Lou: National accreditation aligns perfectly with Westwood’s mission to provide career-focused education. Colleges and schools accredited by ACICS are required to meet and maintain high standards of faculty qualifications, student retention and student placement. These criteria focus on how Westwood prepares students for a career. Please reference this ACICS publication for more information on accreditation criteria.

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What about transferring credits?

Lou: Except in limited circumstances, Westwood credits will not transfer to other schools and a degree from Westwood will not be honored for admission to an advanced-degree program. Please see our section on transferring college credits for additional information.

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*Financial aid available to those who qualify