Faculty FAQs

Accreditation is the process of evaluating and verifying that a higher education institution or program meets established standards of quality, effectiveness, and continuous improvement. It ensures that the institution's educational offerings are valuable and recognized by employers, other institutions, and stakeholders.

Accreditation offers several benefits for both the institution and its students, including:

  • Assurance of educational quality: Accreditation signifies that the institution meets established standards of quality and effectiveness, providing students, parents, and employers with confidence in the value of the education provided.
  • Access to financial aid: Accredited institutions may be eligible for government and private funding programs, which can provide financial aid to students.
  • Easier credit transfer: Credits earned at accredited institutions are more likely to be accepted for transfer by other institutions, making it easier for students to continue their education.
  • Enhanced reputation: Accreditation can enhance an institution's reputation, making it more attractive to prospective students and employers.
  • Continuous improvement: The accreditation process promotes ongoing self-assessment and improvement, helping institutions to identify and address areas that need enhancement.

Alfaisal University is accredited by the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA). Several programs within the university are also accredited by other professional accrediting agencies such as ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) and AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). See Program Accreditation. Program Accreditation should be hyperlinked to the Program accreditation page.

NCAAA stands for the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment, an independent organization in Saudi Arabia established in 2004 by the Higher Education Council. It is responsible for accrediting and evaluating the quality of post-secondary institutions and programs. Reporting directly to the Higher Council of Education, NCAAA's mission is to ensure the quality of education by setting and enforcing rigorous standards, promoting continuous improvement, and focusing on quality issues such as resources, processes, services, and student learning.

Institutional accreditation focuses on evaluating the overall quality and effectiveness of a higher education institution, including its governance, resources, policies, and support services. Program accreditation, on the other hand, assesses the quality of specific academic programs within an institution, ensuring they meet the standards set by industry and professional organizations.

The accreditation process typically occurs in cycles, which can range from 5 to 10 years. Institutions and programs undergo periodic reviews and evaluations to ensure continuous adherence to quality standards and criteria.

Program accreditation, such as ABET for engineering and technology programs and AACSB for business programs, demonstrates that a particular program meets the rigorous standards set by industry and professional organizations. It ensures that graduates possess the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their chosen fields and increases the value of their degrees in the job market.

To be accredited, an institution or program must demonstrate compliance with established standards of quality, effectiveness, and continuous improvement. This involves a comprehensive evaluation process, including self-study, external review, and ongoing monitoring to ensure adherence to accreditation criteria. Institutions and programs must provide evidence of meeting the standards, engage in regular assessments, and show a commitment to enhancing their educational offerings.

Institutions are expected to demonstrate ongoing compliance with accreditation standards and engage in continuous improvement efforts. While it is recognized that some areas may require more attention at different times, the overall goal is to maintain a high level of quality and effectiveness across all aspects of the institution. Achieving and maintaining accreditation is an ongoing commitment to upholding these standards.

The accreditation review process typically involves the following steps:

  • Preparation and submission of an application for accreditation.
  • Conducting a comprehensive self-study to assess compliance with accreditation standards and criteria, including an evaluation of the institution's or program's strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement.
  • Hosting an on-site visit by a team of external reviewers, who assess the institution's or program's compliance with the established standards, review the evidence provided, and interact with faculty, staff, and students.
  • Receiving and addressing recommendations for improvement based on the findings of the external reviewers.
  • The accrediting body reviews the findings and makes a final decision on accreditation status, ensuring that the institution's or program's performance meets the accreditation criteria.
  • Ongoing monitoring, reporting, and communication with the accrediting body to ensure continuous adherence to accreditation standards and the implementation of improvements.
  • Periodic re-evaluation, which involves repeating the accreditation process to renew accreditation status and confirm the institution's or program's ongoing commitment to quality and effectiveness.

Faculty members play a crucial role in the accreditation process by participating in self-studies, providing required documentation, engaging in program assessments, implementing improvements based on evaluation results, and actively contributing to curriculum development and continuous improvement initiatives. They should also stay current with accreditation criteria and best practices within their fields.

Institutions are expected to demonstrate ongoing compliance with accreditation standards and engage in continuous improvement efforts. While it is recognized that some areas may require more attention at different times, the overall goal is to maintain a high level of quality and effectiveness across all aspects of the institution.

If an institution or program does not meet all accreditation standards during the evaluation process, the accrediting body may grant a provisional or conditional accreditation, depending on the severity and number of unmet standards. This status typically requires the institution or program to address the identified deficiencies within a specified timeframe and demonstrate improvement in the areas of concern. Failure to address these issues may result in further actions

Accrediting bodies often provide support to institutions or programs that do not meet all standards by offering guidance, resources, and recommendations to help them address the identified deficiencies. This support may include sharing best practices, providing examples of successful strategies from other institutions, or offering workshops and training to help the institution or program improve in the areas of concern.

Faculty play a critical role in addressing unmet accreditation standards by participating in self-assessment processes, identifying areas for improvement, and developing and implementing action plans to address deficiencies. Faculty may also be involved in revising curricula, enhancing teaching practices, and participating in professional development activities to improve the quality of the educational experience and ensure compliance with accreditation standards.

Yes, an institution can regain its accreditation after losing it. The institution would need to address the issues that led to the loss of accreditation, demonstrate compliance with accreditation standards, and undergo the accreditation process again. This process may take several years, and there is no guarantee that the institution will regain its accreditation. However, if the institution can demonstrate significant improvement and meet the established accreditation criteria, it may be granted accreditation once more.