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The forest of accrediation agencies and government control

Though the universities and schools may claim that the bedrock of U.S. accreditation is self-regulation, peer review and institutional autonomy driven by mission and academic freedom, that is completely non-sense and false.

The U.S. federal government's Department of Education is the principal architect and controlling authority of accreditation through National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). NACIQI in turn controls the regional and national accreditors. There are a whole bunch of other intermediaries, like CHEA, CORPA, COPA, FRACHE, etc.

Regional Accreditors:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS)
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
- Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

National Accreditors:
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
- Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation
- Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, Accreditation Commission
- Association of Institutions of Jewish Studies
- Council on Occupational Education
- Distance Education Accrediting Commission
- New York State Board of Regents, and the Commissioner of Education
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission

The Board of Regents of the State of New York is recognized as an accreditor for degree-granting institutions of higher education in the state that designate the agency as their sole or primary accrediting agency. New York is the only state that is eligible to be federally recognized as an accreditor under a grandfather clause in federal law that allows recognition for state agencies if they were recognized as accreditors before October 1, 1991.

Specialized Accrediting Agencies:
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc
Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
American Board of Funeral Service Education, Committee on Accreditation
American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation
American Occupational Therapy Association, Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
American Optometric Association, Accreditation Council on Optometric Education
American Osteopathic Association, Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation
American Physical Therapy Association, Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
American Podiatric Medical Association, Council on Podiatric Medical Education *
American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
American Veterinary Medical Association, Council on Education
Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., Accreditation Commission
Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation
Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
Council on Education for Public Health
Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
Kansas State Board of Nursing
Liaison Committee on Medical Education
Maryland Board of Nursing
Midwifery Education Accreditation Council
Missouri State Board of Nursing
Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education, Commission on Accreditation
National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences
National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Commission on Accreditation
National Association of Schools of Dance, Commission on Accreditation
National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation
National Association of Schools of Theatre, Commission on Accreditation
New York State Board of Regents, State Education Department, Office of the Professions (Nursing Education)
North Dakota Board of Nursing
The Council on Chiropractic Education

While the above ones are recognized by the U.S. DOE, there are countless number of other unrecognized accredition agencies.
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