The Office of Institutional Research provides support for the College's accreditation review process. Swarthmore College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the engineering program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Additionally, Swarthmore offers a competency-based teacher preparation program that meets both the General Standards and the Specific Program Guidelines for State Approval of Professional Educational Programs.
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a process by which U.S. institutions of higher education undergo a peer review to assess and certify educational excellence. It is also a status held by institutions that meet a rigorous set of common quality standards established by an accrediting body.
What is Middle States?
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is our regional accrediting agency. It is a voluntary, peer-based membership association, not a government agency. Member institutions elect the twenty-seven members of the Commission. This group sets policy and makes decisions about accreditation. An institution's students may receive federal loans and grants (known as "Title IV funding") only if it is accredited.
Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Middle States Accreditation
What Is ABET?
ABET, Inc., is responsible for the specialized accreditation of educational programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. ABET accreditation is assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students. ABET accredits postsecondary degree-granting programs housed within regionally accredited institutions. ABET accredits programs only, not degrees, departments, colleges, or institutions.
Criteria for engineering program accreditation [pdf]
More About Teacher Certification
Swarthmore offers a competency-based teacher preparation program for students who seek secondary certification from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Teacher Education Committee has established criteria for certification in Biology, Chemistry, Citizenship Education, English, French, German, Mathematics, Physics, Social Sciences, Social Studies, and Spanish that meet both the "General Standards" and the "Specific Program Guidelines for State Approval of Professional Educational Programs." Students in Pennsylvania must have completed 48 credit hours (or 12 Swarthmore College credits) to be admitted to the teacher certification program. In order to be certified each candidate must pass the specific PRAXIS exams required by Pennsylvania for their certification area.