Amidst the chaos of many schools trying to figure out their accreditation and how students can continue to receive financial aid, City College stands proud with their ABHES (Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools) with five campuses across Florida, City College offers several different programs for students pursuing careers in health care. Students can earn degrees in anesthesia technology, nursing, health care administration and a number of other areas of allied health. While City College has always provided an excellent education for students, with hands-on classes and instructors who are professionals in the fields they teach, the school now holds the distinguished ABHES accreditation.
City College is pleased and proud to be able to demonstrate to students and employers hat their healthcare programs are rigorous, accountable, producing graduates of the highest quality.
What is ABHES Accreditation?
The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, or ABHES, is an accrediting agency for health education that promotes best practices, best results, and excellence in education. ABHES has been accrediting health education schools and programs for more than 40 years and is recognized as an accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the accrediting process and recognition is to make health education programs accountable through systematic and rigorous evaluation.
In other words, in order to make sure that health education continues to be of the highest quality, ABHES reviews and evaluates programs to hold them accountable to the best standards. This type of evaluation and accreditation is not a one-time process. The accreditation also ensures that schools and programs are continuously updating and improving by periodically reviewing and either denying or renewing accreditation status.
Health Education Accreditation – What it Means to Be Accredited
Schools do not necessarily have to be accredited to offer educational programs or to confer diplomas and degrees. However, schools that are accredited can guarantee their students a certain minimum level of quality that is actually quite high. While an unaccredited school might offer a high quality education, students cannot be assured of that. It can be a gamble to choose a school that has not been evaluated by a private, unaffiliated accrediting agency. Only those that are accredited by an appropriate institution are guaranteed to provide:
• Compliance with rigorous standards.
• An annual review that maintains high quality programming.
• Accountability to the accrediting agency for ongoing quality.
• Continuous improvements to programs.
• Truth in what the school offers students.
The ABHES Accreditation Process
The process to achieve initial ABHES accreditation is a long and rigorous one. The school must first meet eligibility requirements and only then can it submit an application. The next step is for the school to complete a lengthy self-evaluation while attending an accreditation workshop. The workshop helps officials from the school understand everything that must go into this lengthy self-evaluation.
As the school works on the self-evaluation report, representatives from ABHES will then make a preliminary visit to the school. This is a time for tABHES to go over a first draft of the self-evaluation and answer any questions from the school officials. The representatives give feedback to the school and information about what might be lacking from the report.
The next step is the most important: the submission of the final self-evaluation report. Schools must take a considerable amount of time to complete this detailed report that outlines all the ways in which its programs meet the standards set by ABHES. The report must also include evidence that the standards are met. The report is followed by another visit to the school to confirm the submitted information and a review to determine if accreditation can be granted. If it is, the school or program has earned accreditation but must still follow up every year with an annual report to keep that accreditation valid.
ABHES Accredited Schools Are at the Top
ABHES is the only health education accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This means that although there are other ways to get institutional accreditation or programmatic accreditation, or both, ABHES accreditation represents the highest achievement for a college or university offering health education degrees and certificates. Not all schools that try for this accreditation receive it. Even more limited are the schools that achieve both institutional and programmatic accreditation, as City College has achieved.
This type of accreditation is such a big achievement because the process is rigorous and long. The process of getting accreditation requires multiple steps, detailed self-evaluation, and proof that a school can meet the required standards. Once a school like City College receives accreditation, then ABHES expects it to continue to review and improve. The school must submit an annual report to state how it is maintaining the standards and working to improve programs and outcomes even further.
Institutional Accreditation vs. Programmatic Accreditation – City College Has Achieved Both
Not all accreditation is the same. Initial Institutional accreditation through ABHES means that the school did not previously have accreditation for all programs. This is a type of accreditation that applies to the entire school rather than just one or two programs within the school. For institutional ABHES accreditation, at least 70 percent of the school’s programs must be health care related or 70 percent of the students must be enrolled in health care programs. In other words, the school may have some non-health related programs but is predominantly a healthcare educational institution.
A school can be awarded programmatic accreditation if it already has overall institutional accreditation but is seeking the award for its health care programs. Schools that choose this type of accreditation are typically schools that offer a variety of career-related programs, some of which are related to health care. To be eligible for programmatic accreditation a school must have at least one of three programs: Medial Assisting, Surgical Technology, or Medical Laboratory Technology.
City College is pleased to share that it has achieved both institutional accreditation and programmatic accreditation for Surgical Technology. This ensures that the entire school, including the health care programs, meet standards of quality that are crucial for providing a quality education and for training and preparing students to become excellent health care practitioners.
Why Students Choose ABHES Accredited Healthcare Programs – Accreditation Matters
Students have many factors to consider when choosing an institution for higher education: tuition costs, location, program availability, flexibility of course schedules, and more. What students should also consider is accreditation. It really does matter in determining whether a school or program will offer a quality education with excellent training and employability after graduation.
ABHES accredited schools and accredited health care programs have been evaluated and found to provide students with exactly what they promise. That means that when students are choosing a school or program, they know they can trust what they are being told by an accredited institution. Accreditation provides information and answers to questions that are important for deciding where to attend school:
• Requirements for admissions
• Whether a specific program is accredited
• Information about financial aid
• Eligibility of courses for federal aid or state grants and loans
• Total tuition costs
• Availability and eligibility for necessary licensing for a particular career
• Post-graduation hiring and salary statistics
• Qualifications of instructors
• Availability of student services and advocacy
Choosing a non-accredited program or school is a risky proposiiton. You run the risk that an employer may not recognize your degree or diploma, or that you won’t be able to receive financial aid for tuition costs. Credits earned at a non-accredited school may not carry over to other schools. Also, importantly for health care workers, a diploma or degree from an unaccredited institution may not be sufficient for getting licensed or certified in the field in which you want to work. Many licensures required for employment by the state require that students graduate from an accredited school and or program.
City College is thrilled to share with prospective students, students, employers, and the community, that it has achieved ABHES accreditation. The school has strived to provide the best education for its students, preparing them to get hired and succeed in a competitive health care industry, but to have that quality be guaranteed is a major accomplishment.
As young people and those who are switching careers begin to contemplate where to get their health care education, City College hopes they will consider the importance of accreditation in making that choice. Whether you choose City College or not, make accreditation a must-have factor in your choice to ensure you get what you are promised, including quality instruction, employability, transferable credits, and affordable tuition.