If you are considering studying business in the US, there is such a wide array of post-secondary programs and institutions open to foreign students that your initial options may seem endless. However, the rigorous screening processes of national accrediting bodies like the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) can give you an excellent starting point for your search.


Since 1953, ACICS has engaged in the evaluation and accreditation of independent colleges and career schools. In 1956, the Accrediting Council was officially designated by the US Commissioner of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Such recognition has been continuously renewed by the US Secretary of Education since that time, and in 1997, ACICS was given the maximum five-year grant of recognition by the Secretary.

ACICS currently accredits institutions operating in the US, Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands, England, France, Italy, Monaco, Germany, Greece, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Foreign institutions seek ACICS accreditation because of its comprehensive educational evaluations and the follow-up services it provides to member institutions as they work to gain and maintain accreditation through compliance with Council standards.

Approximately 375 main campuses and 250 non-main campuses are accredited by the Council. Programs mainly include traditional business areas such as accounting, business administration, secretarial sciences and computer operations. In addition, programs such as entrepreneurship, international business, marketing, court reporting, paralegal, computer-aided drafting, culinary arts, allied health, and electronics may be offered. The current ACICS Directory of Accredited Institutions contains a summary of all programs and a listing for each location.

Credentials offered by institutions include certificates, diplomas, associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees. The Council requires that all member institutions publish and clearly explain each of their program objectives and what students can expect in their chosen career field once they have completed a program of study. An ACICS-accredited institution's catalogue will give you all of the detailed information you will need to assess the programs offered at a school you are considering attending.

Through the process of accreditation, institutions and the programs they offer are evaluated and recognized for quality assurance. The Council's aim is to maintain the educational quality and the effectiveness of the private career schools and colleges which it accredits, as the accrediting process is a vehicle for institutional self-examination and self-regulation. The Council is dedicated to the 300,000 students who pursue career education at its accredited institutions each year.

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