An Overview of the U.S. Department of Education
What the Department of Education Does NOT Do
Under the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Nothing specific is said about education in the Constitution; therefore it falls outside federal authority.
In creating the Department of Education, Congress made clear its intention that the secretary of education and other Department officials be prohibited from exercising "any direction, Supervision, or control over the curriculum program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system." The establishment of schools and colleges, the development of curricula, the setting of requirements for enrollment and graduation -- these are responsibilities handled by the various states and communities, as well as by public and private organizations of all kinds, not by the U.S. Department of Education.
Accreditation is a process colleges and universities submit to voluntarily for getting their credentials.
Regional agencies accredit entire schools, and professional agencies accredit either specialized schools or departments within schools. There are no national accrediting standards.
Because accreditation is not mandatory, lack of accreditation does not necessarily mean a school or program is bad. Some schools choose not to apply for accreditation, are in the process of applying, or have educational methods to unconventional for an accrediting association's standards.
Accreditation when is used properly is a validation. This validation is achieved when a group of theoretically impartial experts in higher education thoroughly investigates a school and find it worthy of approval.
In America we have a number of separate independent agencies that grant accreditation. There is no central control or authority and there are both good and bad accrediting agencies. There are also two types of accreditation—institutional and specialized. Institutional accreditors, such as those referred to as "regional" accreditors, examine the college or university as a whole educational institution. Specialized accreditors evaluate specific educational programs. Professional accreditors, such as those for medicine, law, architecture and engineering, fall into this category.
Accreditation is a voluntary process and each college or university may decide for it self if accreditation is appropriate and necessary to accomplish its education mission. For those universities that seek Federal Government educational funding, accreditation by an agency recognized by the Department of Education is required.
Accreditation can be important for the school and the student. But that importance is confused by several factors. There are no significant national standards for accreditation. The accreditation of a school in one state might not be acceptable in another state. There are seven regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. These regional accrediting agencies carry the highest level of recognition and acceptance in the U.S.A.
The degree programs offered at AFARAND are not designed to be used for admittance to a graduate school or to meet any particular licensing or accreditation standards. If you are seeking a degree for licensing purposes, AFARAND advises you to check with that licensing body or association to determine if that degree would be accepted.
AFARAND is international in scope, offering its degree programs to accomplished adults around the world. Accreditation by an accreditation agency recognized by the Department of Education in the US is neither warranted nor necessary to achieve its education mission. AFARAND does not seek Federal Government funding and has no need to meet this eligibility.
AFARAND has not applied for any accreditation that would be recognized by the US Department of Education. Nor would it qualify for used accreditation due to its non-traditional and non-resident international status.