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Five Dimensions of Quality: A Common Sense Guide to Accreditation and Accountability by Stanley O. Ikenberry, Linda Suskie

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FOREWORD

Accreditation of colleges and universities in the United States may be the linchpin that holds our highly decentralized and incredibly diverse academic enterprise together, but it is also one of the most poorly understood and controversial features of American higher education. Even for many academics, accreditation remains a mystery. Most faculty members and many academic administrators have had little or no direct involvement with the purposes and processes of accreditation and see it as a mysterious external force, intrusive and demanding, unnecessarily burdensome and distracting.

Critics from outside the academy tend to be even more skeptical, but for quite different reasons. Some policymakers, for example, see accreditation as ...

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