It’s easy for some to look down on those for-profit universities that advertise on TV.
But there is one main reason those schools aren’t judged on the same level as more established schools.
They aren’t accredited.
Credits from institutions that aren’t regionally accredited are nontransferable and aren’t accepted by institutions of higher education. This means if Bradley were non-accredited, it would be the end of students’ education, unless they wanted to study elsewhere to re-receive their same degrees.
Accreditation is a huge deal for campuses nationwide.
Not only does it solidify transferable credits, it defines the quality of a university.
Government-certified accreditation institutions visit campuses seeking accreditation at least once every 10 years, and Bradley’s visit is approaching.
If the university fails in any way during its visit next November, it will be hard for the school to retrace its steps.
Results of accreditation visits are public information.
Therefore, prospective students could use any negative information against Bradley, just as they could use any negative information from college search tools such as The Princeton Review.
Potential professors or administrators, or even current ones, could also use the lack of accreditation to pass up Bradley, meaning the school and its students would be missing out big time.
And if Bradley is only re-accredited for a few years rather than the maximum of 10, it’s another red-flag.
Although Karen Solomon, an employee from the Higher Learning Commission, the accreditation institute that reviews Bradley, said the risk factor for Bradley to not re-receive its accreditation is very low, she said there is always a chance it could happen.
And that’s not a chance the school can take.
Bradley has already begun getting ready for its visit, even though it’s nearly 13 months away.
Most of the preparation will take place next semester.
Not only do we urge administrators to take this seriously as possible, but we encourage the students to as well.
The five criteria Bradley will be evaluated on are mission and integrity, resources available to support learning, acquisition and discovery of knowledge, measurement of learning and engagement in the global world.
If students have any problems with any of these areas, now is the time to bring the issue to an administrator or become involved in the accreditation process.
Should the university not receive accreditation, degrees issued will no longer be of the high value students chose Bradley for, so it’s clear it affects each and every one of us.
Hopefully, students won’t have another chance to make such a large impact on the university’s reputation for another 10 years.