The New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC CIHE) is the regional accrediting agency for more than 200 colleges and universities across New England, including UNE. As the nation’s oldest regional accrediting body, NEASC's mission is to establish and maintain high levels of education from pre-kindergarten through the doctoral level of higher education.
Accreditation involves an independent review of the quality of an institution's educational programs. In the United States, accreditation is an important way for students, families, government officials, the press, and the public to know that an institution or program provides a high-quality education. Generally, these reviews occur every ten years.
NEASC provides eleven Standards for Accreditation that guide the preparation of the institutional self-study report. This self-study report is important because:
- Employers often ask if a college, university or program is accredited before deciding to provide tuition assistance to current employees, evaluating the credentials of employment applicants, or making a charitable contribution.
- The federal government requires that a college, university, or program be accredited in order to be eligible for federal grants, loans, or other federal funds, including research funds.
- State governments require that a college, university, or program be accredited when they make state funds available to students or institutions, and when they allow students to sit for state licensure examinations in many professional fields.
The University of New England has been successfully re-accredited by NEASC and will complete its next comprehensive evaluation in 2017. In its final report, NEASC commended UNE for "the high quality of its academic programs and its student-centered culture, evidenced by the dedication of faculty and student services personnel." The NEASC visitors went on to say, "Under the leadership of a new president and with the support of a committed Board of Trustees, the University seems well positioned to meet the goals it has established for future growth and development."