Accreditation is a status granted to an educational institution or a program
that has been found to meet or exceed stated standards of educational
quality. In the United States, accreditation is voluntarily sought by
institutions and programs and is conferred by non-governmental bodies.
Accreditation serves as a vehicle that allows the program to examine itself
in relation to a specific set of standards. The program is analyzed by
objective outsiders, using the same set of standards and the stated program
mission as a frame of reference. The analysis is designed to recognize
and commend program strengths and to be open about the program concerns.
Accreditation has two fundamental purposes: to validate the quality of
the institution or program and to assist in the improvement of the institution
As a result, the accreditation process does not prescribe specific practices,
but is concerned, from a qualitative standpoint, that:
a. the program has clearly defined, appropriate objectives,
b. the program has established the conditions under which those objective
can be achieved,
c. the program is in essence achieving their objectives presently, and
d. the program is able to continue to achieve its objectives in the foreseeable
applies to institutions or programs, is to be distinguished from certification
and licensure, which apply to individuals.
of Accreditation Process
The material that follows represents the overall and specific objectives
developed by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality
Accreditation is a communal self-regulatory process by which voluntary
associations (1) recognize educational institutions or programs that have
been found to meet or exceed stated standards of educational quality;
and (2) assist in further improvement of the institutions or programs.
The first of these purposes is called quality-assessment; the second,
The quality of an entity or process cannot be determined by the possession
of a fixed series of characteristics, but only in terms of the objectives
or purposes it seeks to achieve. Quality, therefore, must be defined contextually.
Educational quality thus requires determining (1) the appropriateness
of institutional/program objectives, and (2) the effectiveness with which
the institution/program is utilizing its resources to achieve these objectives.
Accrediting standards represent those generalized conditions or characteristics
determined to be essential in order for objectives to be achieved. Standards
are to be expressed qualitatively, be applicable to a diversity of institutions
or programs, and must consider educational outcomes (outputs) as well
as resources and processes (inputs). For standards to be valid, they must
be capable of being derived from the educational objectives stated, and
must be appropriate, clear, and explicit.
Hospitality administration is defined as the decision-making process with
respect to the proper allocation of resources to achieve the objectives
of hospitality, i.e., the providing of food, lodging, and related services.
Objectives of the Accreditation of Programs in Hospitality Administration
1. To provide public
assurance that programs in hospitality administration are of acceptable
2. To provide guidance
to programs in the continued improvement of their educational offerings
and related activities.
3. To promote higher
educational and ethical standards of professional education and enhance
the public understanding of the hospitality field.
Objectives of Hospitality Administration Accreditation
To foster excellence
in the field of hospitality administration by developing standards and
guidelines for evaluating program effectiveness.
To ensure that the
accrediting process recognizes and respects the diversity of programs
in hospitality administration.
To ensure that the
accrediting process evaluates not only the presence of essential resources
and processes, but also the achievement of programmatic outcomes.
To require, as an
integral part of the accrediting process, a programmatic self-study that
is analytical, interpretive, and evaluative, and an on-site review by
a visiting team of peers.
To encourage programs
to view self-study and evaluation as a continuous internal obligation.
To provide counsel
and assistance to both developing and established programs, including
disseminating information between and among programs that will stimulate
improvement of educational pro- grams and related activities.
To ensure that the
evaluation, policy, and decision-making processes reflect the community
of interests directly affected by the accrediting body, including effective
ACPHA™ consists of 12 Commissioners, including hospitality educators,
executives from the lodging, restaurant and hospitality industry and members
of the public at large. The Commission members meet twice a year to review,
assess and evaluate two-year and four-year hospitality programs at colleges
and universities across the United States.
The current Co-Chairs
for ACPHA™ are:
Richard Ghiselli, Ph.D.
Hospitality & Tourism Management
West Lafayette, IN
Lynn Huffman, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University
College of Human Sciences
Restaurant, Hotel & Institutional Management
Any program or individual interested in accreditation by ACPHA™
should contact the Commissions' director of evaluation, Dorothy C. Fenwick,
Ph.D. who may be reached by either telephone at (410) 226-5527, or by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
mailing address is:
P.O. Box 400
Oxford, MD 21654