Become Accredited


Accreditation of Adult (Postsecondary, Non-Degree Granting) and Secondary Career and Technical Institutions


The Middle States Association Commission on Secondary Schools accredits both ADULT (postsecondary, non-degree granting) and SECONDARY Career & Technical Schools across the country.

The Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools (MSA-CSS) is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education in all 50 states as a reliable authority as to the quality of education or training provided by the postsecondary institutions it accredits. Therefore, MSA-CSS accredited postsecondary, non-degree granting career and technical institutions may use their Middle States accreditation to establish eligibility to participate in federal Title IV student loan programs for adult students. The Commission on Secondary Schools is now recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a gatekeeper for eligibility for Title IV funding for postsecondary, non-degree granting institutions and distance education throughout the United States.

Career and technical institutions that provide education and training to secondary and/or adult students are eligible to seek candidacy for accreditation and to be accredited by the Commission.

Postsecondary institutions seeking accreditation for Title IV purposes may not offer programs that lead to an associate or higher degree.

To discuss accreditation for career and technical institutions, please email Dr. Glen Mort, Vice President of Accreditation, at gmort@msa-cess.org. Dr. Mort has over 15 years in administration of an accredited adult postsecondary school prior to joining the Middle States staff.

Why Accreditation?

Accreditation through Middle States is a multifaceted, peer review evaluation process used to demonstrate your school meets a defined set of research-based performance standards.

The standards measure quality through performance criteria such as program completion rate, student job placement rate, licensing examination pass rate and student loan default rate.

Additionally, Middle States is able to accredit schools with both secondary and postsecondary programs as part of one self-study and evaluation visit, saving time and money. The protocol evaluates both technical and academic programs in the same self-study and evaluation process, encouraging alignment and integration of those programs.

Too frequently career and technical schools come under fire for not producing results and are often perceived as not meeting expected student outcomes.

Middle States accreditation provides current and prospective students with a level of assurance that your institution is providing a quality education, operating in a manner that is fiscally sound and equipping students with career readiness skills that lead to job placement and success in their chosen fields.

For over 130 years, Middle States has been helping school leaders establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development and advance student achievement.

Accreditation through Middle States is a multifaceted, peer review evaluation process used to demonstrate your school meets a defined set of research-based performance standards.

The Process

Our purpose-built self-study Protocol – Reflections on Standards of Quality – is designed for use by institutions that offer career and technical programs to secondary and/or adult post-secondary students that seek accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools (MSA-CSS) of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).

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The Process

Our purpose-built self-study Protocol – Reflections on Standards of Quality – is designed for use by institutions that offer career and technical programs to secondary and/or adult post-secondary students that seek accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools (MSA-CSS) of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). Reflections also includes the evaluation of academic programs (if applicable) offered by secondary career and technical institutions. Reflections, therefore, offers an institution a protocol for evaluating the entire institution, secondary and/or post-secondary, and all of components of its educational program—career and technical and academic—as well as all other aspects of the institution’s operations.

Important: Reflections is the required Self-Study and accreditation protocol for all institutions that offer post-secondary, non-degree granting career and technical programs to adult students and that seek to use accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools to establish eligibility to participate in federal Title IV student loan programs for adult learners.

How to Apply

Standards for Accreditation and Indicators of Quality for Career and Technical Institutions

Accredited Postsecondary, Non-Degree Granting Career and Technical Institutions

The Middle States Association, Commission on Secondary Schools meets twice a year to vote on actions regarding the accreditation status of these institutions
Click here for a record of the most recent actions.

What is Institutional Accreditation?

The Middle States Association Commissions on Secondary Schools (MSA-CSS) is an Institutional Accreditor, which accredits all programs offered within your school. MSA-CSS currently accredits schools that offer programs in all US Department of Education 16 Major Career Clusters. Some of these programs are listed below (but this is not an all-inclusive listing).

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What is Institutional Accreditation?
Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Career Cluster

Horticulture Design
Water/Waste Management
Pet/Vet Technician
Landscape Design

Architecture and Construction Career Cluster

Building Construction
Carpentry
Electrical Occupations
Heavy Equipment Operator
HVAC/R
Masonry
Painting & Decorating
Drafting & Design
Welding
Plumbing

Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications Career Cluster

Global Fashion Design
Creative Communications, Commercial & Advertising Design

Business Management and Administration Career Cluster

Business Management
Business Administration Certificate
International Business Studies Certificate
International Business Administration Certificate

Education and Training Career Cluster

Child Development/Early Childhood Education

Finance Career Cluster

Applied Financial Technology Certificate

Government and Public Administration Career Cluster

Aviation Inspector
Real Estate Appraiser

Health Science Career Cluster

Dental Radiology
Patient Care Technician
Phlebotomy/EKG Technician
Medical Assistant
Medical Administrative Assistant
Neurodiagnostic Technologist
Pharmacy Technician
MRI Technologist
Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Cardiac Monitor Technician
Surgical Technologist
Sterile Processing Technician
Medical Billing & Coding Specialist
License Practical Nurse
Sports Medicine
Ultrasound Technician
Infusion Therapy

Hospitality and Tourism Career Cluster

Culinary Arts
Pastry Arts
Hospitality Management
Restaurant Management

Human Services Career Cluster

Barbering
Cosmetology

Information Technology Career Cluster

Computer Systems Networking
IT Programming
Game Design & Implementation
Web Application & Design

Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security Career Cluster

Protective Services
Criminal Justice
Homeland Security Technology

Manufacturing Career Cluster

Manufacturing & Fabrications

Marketing Career Cluster

Advertising Art & Design Technology
Real Estate Salesperson License

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Career Cluster

Robotics & Automation
Marine Technology
Research Assistant

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Career Cluster

Auto Collision & Repair
Diesel Technology & Repair
CDL License Training
Warehousing & Logistical Management