The Value of Accreditation
Accreditation can be one of those terms that colleges and universities like to use to make their school sound official worthy of your attention. But what does that term really mean? And, is it actually something worth thinking about when choosing a school or a radiology program?
The simple answer to these questions is yes. Accreditation is an important thing which schools do not just use for self-promotion. Accreditation is a designation provided by an independent, non-government organization which designates a particular school or program as meeting basic standard requirements of education that all schools and programs in the same field have been similarly designated as meeting. In other words, it is a way for schools to show that they have met certain basic criteria of education. If a school does not provide enough classes in a particular discipline, or does not have professors with the necessary qualifications to teach or does not provide enough campus resources to their students, then they are unable to be awarded accreditation.
Put simply, then, accreditation is an impartial verification system that a school is able to provide the level of education that they claim. It is, therefore, generally not recommended to attend an institution that has not be accredited as it cannot be verified to provide a quality education.
Accreditation can be awarded on the institutional level or on the programmatic level. For an institution, accreditation means meeting numerous basic requirements of teaching and specialized services for the students. On the specialized level, however, the program in question much meet specific requirements of education for that program. For radiology, for example, an accredited radiology program will provide the right resources and training for radiologists to start practicing upon graduation. Accreditation is therefore important on both the institutional level and for the specific program in question like radiology.
One of the biggest advantages to an accredited program is the ability to transfer credits from one institution to another that is accredited. Most accredited institutions will accept credits from other accredited institutions only. In this way, if for some reason you transfer from one school to another in the middle of your education then you will be able to pick up where you left off at the last institution if you are transferring from an institution with accreditation to another institution with accreditation.
Employment and Certification
Most employers and certainly most certification agencies will only accept people with a degree from an accredited institution. This is the final and perhaps most important reason to value accreditation. Through the use of accreditation certification programs in radiology as well as employers in the field can be confident that the level of education you received is satisfactory. If you attend an institution without accreditation then they have no way of being confident in the level of your education and therefore in your ability to perform the tasks of a radiology technician.