Access PSC’s Accreditation Handbook here.
Accreditation Handbook & Materials
PSC’s Accreditation Handbook is designed to ensure institutions and other stakeholders understand its Accreditation Standards, policies, and procedures. PSC accredits institutions that generate strong economic returns for their students. Institutions that share PSC’s commitment to economic outcomes can be good candidates for accreditation with PSC. To be a good candidate for accreditation with PSC, an institution should also share PSC’s interest in accountability, transparency, and innovation.
PSC will continue to update and extend its Accreditation Handbook over the next two years as it learns from its pilot partners, public comment and higher education experts. Learn more about this process here. The current version of the Handbook is always available here on the PSC website.
PSC’s Accreditation Standards are the core criteria against which institutions are evaluated when seeking PSC accreditation. When an institution meets PSC’s Accreditation Standards, students, the public, and other stakeholders can be assured the institution has been vetted for its ability to provide quality higher education and produce strong economic returns for students.
PSC follows a formal process for considering institutions’ applications and subsequently for granting pre-accreditation, initial accreditation, and accreditation renewal. This document outlines the steps and requirements for institutions interested in becoming accredited by PSC.
Prior to seeking pre-accreditation with the PSC, an institution must submit an Application for Pre-Accreditation. This document includes an overview of the application contents and process.
Pre-accreditation is a formal, preliminary status with PSC and lasts a maximum of five years. This document outlines the process to become pre-accredited with PSC.
PSC grants initial accreditation for up to seven years. This document outlines the policies and procedures associated with the initial accreditation process.
Institutions must renew accreditation with PSC every seven years. This document outlines the policies and procedures associated with accreditation renewal.
The purpose of the Annual Audit is to monitor institutional quality and identify institutions that may be at risk of not meeting PSC’s Accreditation Standards, policies, or procedures. This document details PSC’s Annual Audit requirements for institutions.
This document outlines the possible actions the Commission may take related to an institution’s accreditation status.
This document details the circumstances under which an institution may appeal a decision made by the PSC Commission and the process it must follow to do so.
Institutions that choose to dispute a Commission decision beyond the appeals process may do so only via binding arbitration. This document outlines PSC’s policies and procedures related to this process.
This document explains when institutions can pursue accreditation again after denial or withdrawal of accreditation by the PSC Commission.
PSC maintains accreditation records as required by law and applicable regulations. This document outlines PSC’s retention of documents received or generated when conducting accreditation activities.
This document details PSC’s policies and procedures related to the notification of accreditation decisions, information sharing, and public disclosures.
This policy outlines the circumstances under which PSC will consider decisions of states and other accrediting agencies when determining the institutions it will consider for accreditation and pre-accreditation.
This document details PSC’s policies and procedures when a member institution wants to make a substantive change to how it operates, such as offer a new degree level or acquire another institution.
This document outlines PSC’s policies and procedures for what an institution must submit regarding how it will teach out students impacted by the closure of the institution, or the closure of an institutional location that provides 100% of at least one program.
PSC ensures that any complaints it receives against an accredited or pre-accredited institution are reviewed in a timely, fair, and equitable manner. This document details how students, the public, or other stakeholders can submit a complaint against a member institution or PSC.
PSC accepts public comments on an ongoing basis. This document explains PSC’s policies and procedures related to public comments.
PSC regularly reviews its Accreditation Standards, policies, and procedures to ensure they reflect PSC’s intended approach and remain aligned with applicable regulations. This document outlines PSC’s policy and procedures in this area.