There are probably a handful of traits you look for when selecting a college or university. Location, program and course offerings, flexible schedules and price are all worthy of consideration, but the most important feature of an institution should be whether or not it is accredited.
The United States Department of Education explains, “The goal of accreditation is to ensure that institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality.” In addition, most students need financial assistance when deciding to return to school, so in order to receive the necessary federal student aid, institutions “must be accredited by a ‘nationally recognized’ accreditor (or, for certain vocational institutions, approved by a recognized state approval agency), be authorized by the state in which the institution is located, and receive approval from the Department through a program participation agreement.”
Institutions of higher learning can be either nationally or regionally accredited. While nationally-accredited institutions are mostly profit-oriented with a nonacademic focus, regionally-accredited institutions are degree-oriented and are regulated for academic quality and standards.
Thelma Woodard, director of assessment at Hodges University, explains there are many reasons why a student should attend an accredited institution, including assurance that the university meets quality standards, the university will be able to provide opportunities for students to receive federal grants and/or loans, and assurance that “employers recognize our programs are valid and our graduates are qualified.”
Is Hodges University accredited?
Yes. Hodges University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and awards associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. According to SACSCOC, the commission maintains six core values: integrity, continuous quality improvement, peer review/self-regulation, accountability, student learning and transparency.
“The accreditation process ensures we are effectively addressing educational quality, making quality offerings available to students and helping students reach their educational goals,” Woodard explained.
The university received its initial accreditation in 1998 and was reaffirmed in 2013. Each accrediting body maintains its own standards with regard to reaffirmation. The standard set forth by SACSCOC is accredited institutions must undergo a review process every 10 years, which means Hodges’ next reaffirmation is set for 2023.
“Reaffirmation takes place every 10 years; however, during the fifth year after reaffirmation we are required to submit a fifth-year interim report. We are currently conducting an internal review and verification of our policies and procedures and writing a report that will be submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Accreditation is both a process and a status that assures we are recognized with a seal of approval,” said Woodard.
Apart from institutional accreditation, students may also benefit from enrolling in specific accredited degree programs. Many programs that are clinically-focused are accredited, as are programs in business and law.
How many of Hodges degree programs are accredited?
Currently, many of Hodges’ business programs, as well as its physical therapist assistant and clinical mental health counseling programs, are accredited. The university’s Bachelor of Science in nursing degree program is currently seeking accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Johnson School of Business
The International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) has accredited eight degree programs within the Johnson School of Business:
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Science in Management
- Bachelor of Science in Accounting
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
- Bachelor of Science in Management
- Associate in Science in Accounting
- Associate in Science in Business Administration
The IACBE ensures that “students, parents, the business community and other stakeholders of the institution can be assured that the academic business unit complies with high principles of excellence and follows best practice in business education.”
Hodges’ Johnson School of Business received reaffirmation of accreditation of its business, accounting and management programs during the IACBE Board of Commissioners meeting in December 2015. Dr. Aysegul Timur, senior vice president of academic affairs and dean of the Johnson School of Business, explained in a 2016 press release, “The IACBE reaffirmation of accreditation allows us to continue to improve student learning, as well as reach out into the business community and meet the workforce expectations. This provides our students with a tremendous opportunity to secure the best jobs and improve their careers.”
School of Health Sciences
Physical Therapist Assistant
If you are interested in becoming a physical therapist assistant (PTA), Hodges’ PTA program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).
Students who enroll in a CAPTE-accredited PTA program are eligible to take the national licensing board exam upon completion of the degree program. It is also required that students who “provide physical therapy services to patients/clients on Medicare” graduate from a CAPTE-accredited program.
Meeting all of the standards set forth by CAPTE, the faculty strongly encourage students to not work while in the program. Although this does not sound like an ideal situation, you can expect to finish the program in two years or less, which means you will become licensed sooner than others attending PTA schools in Southwest Florida.
Nichols School of Professional Studies
Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Are you interested in a career in mental health counseling? Hodges’ Master of Science in clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Enrolling in a CACREP-accredited program assures students that all of the knowledge and skills needed to become eligible for candidacy for licensing as a mental health counselor in Florida are integrated into the program’s curriculum.
Hodges’ CMHC blended format received accreditation in January 2014, and the university’s fully online CMHC program received CACREP accreditation in February 2017. “We re-designed our blended courses to offer in a fully online format, creating new assignments and synchronous WebEx sessions for students enrolled in the online format,” Dr. Amber Pope, CMHC program chair, explained in a 2016-2017 annual report.
Enrolling in an accredited university will give you the extra credibility needed to succeed in today’s workforce, and what better way to begin your pathway to career success than starting at Hodges University.
To learn more about Hodges’ accreditation and the many program offerings, visit www.hodges.edu today or call (800) 466-0019 to speak to an admissions representative.