Accreditation performs a number of important functions including the validation of credibility on the part of the public being served and encouragement of efforts toward maximum educational effectiveness. The accrediting process requires schools as well as other educational institutions and programs to examine their own goals, operations, and achievements in light of their native peoples’ philosophies and worldviews. It also provides the expert critiques and suggestions of an external review team and the recommendations of the accrediting body. Since the accreditation is reviewed periodically, institutions are encouraged toward continued self-study and improvement.
Accreditation of schools, educational institutions and specialized programs is granted by a number of national and regional organizations, each representing a lens through which to examine the quality and integrity of the institutions/schools/programs in question. Though each of these organizations has its distinctive definitions of eligibility, criteria for accreditation, and operating procedures, most of them undertake accreditation as one means of assuring the public constituencies about the quality and integrity of the services rendered. While the procedures of the various national and professional accrediting structures differ somewhat in detail, each is intended to fulfill the following purposes:
What differs between this process and others is that accreditation by the WINHEC Accreditation Authority means that an Indigenous-serving institution/school/program’s work:
When granted, accreditation applies to the entire institution/school/program in operation at the time of the most recent full-scale review. It indicates that the institution/school/program has been carefully and thoroughly examined and has been found to be achieving its own particular purposes in a satisfactory manner.
Furthermore, accreditation by the WINHEC Accreditation Authority takes into account and supports the diversity which exists among Indigenous-serving educational institutions, schools, and programs. Quality is evaluated in terms of the purposes the institution seeks to accomplish. Once deemed to have met the criteria established by the WINHEC Accreditation Authority, candidate institutions and programs become full voting members of the WINHEC Accreditation Authority Board with all the rights and privileges specified in the enclosed Guiding Principles.