What Does Accreditation Mean to You?

AUC is both globally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and locally accredited by the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAAE) –– the first University in Egypt to be accredited at the institutional level by NAQAAE. Additionally, most of AUC’s academic programs hold specialized accreditations from various prestigious bodies –– a testament to each program’s excellence in a particular field. Some schools are even triple crowned such as the School of Business and the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, which is a sign of quality associated only with limited schools and universities.

MSCHE grants institutional accreditation every 10 years, and the University is currently in the process of finalizing its self-assessment for reaffirmation of accreditation. An evaluation team will visit AUC from March 18 to 21, during which they will receive updates of AUC’s Self-Study Report, review supporting evidence, meet with the AUC community and report on their findings to conclude the process. AUC conducted three forums on campus to raise awareness of the self-assessment process and findings during this past year, with the last on March 11, 2018.

What does all this mean, though?

With more than 6,500 students and over 400 faculty members living varying experiences all on one campus, University and program accreditations touch us all in different ways. No matter how many facts we use to describe accreditation, ultimately, it’s all about an individual’s experience of the University.

News@AUC spoke with students and faculty members to learn what accreditation means to them. 

Global Benchmarking

“Accreditation forces you to evaluate what you do and to enhance whatever issues need improvement, measuring against global standards. You always compare yourself against what is right and try to make yourself better. It’s a process of continuous improvement.”

–– Ahmed Tolba ’97, ’01, associate provost for strategic enrollment and management

“Accreditation ensures that there are appropriate governing procedures implemented at the University level. They are benchmarked based on seven standards, each of which relates to some objective.”

–– Basil Kamel, professor, Department of Architecture

“It’s an acknowledgement of quality according to certain regulations or standards set by an international board.”

–– Mariam Hegazy, mechanical engineering sophomore

Self-Reflection

“Embarking on the accreditation process is a challenging, yet very rewarding task. Accreditation is an effective reflection process that allows us to learn from experiences and enables us to create effective assessment measures, set reasonable target levels and analyze data to produce results and strategies for improvement. The preparation of the Self-Study Report for the accreditation process is a good opportunity for departments to assess the strengths and limitations of the program being submitted for review. This information can help in developing a plan that enables the department to maintain its strengths and overcome limitations.”

–– Zeinab Amin, associate professor, Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Science; associate dean of undergraduate studies, School of Sciences and Engineering

“The most important part of accreditation is not to sugarcoat anything. No university is perfect, and there are always challenges and things you want to improve. You want to create sustainability in the University’s development.”

–– Basil Kamel, professor, Department of Architecture

 

International Reputation

“From a marketing standpoint, accreditation is important for the AUC brand externally. If you’re an accredited university, other universities know that an accrediting body has reviewed your work. It’s a stamp of quality.”

–– Ahmed Tolba ’97, ’01, associate provost for strategic enrollment and management

“It’s a validation, and it represents accountability. If we’re accredited, it means we’re doing a good job. It’s extremely important in terms of the reputation of the University and in terms of the students who will be joining us. For them, it’s an important criterion. It’s like a seal of approval from a specialized body.”

–– Aziza Ellozy ’64, ’67, associate provost for transformative learning and teaching

 

Degree Recognition

“I feel it’s essential career-wise because with an accredited college, your degree is recognized everywhere and you can work with it anywhere without any problems. It’s also about knowing that your effort is worth something at the end.”

–– Ziad Elmandouh, actuarial science major and economics minor

“To me, accreditation means accuracy. It means that I’m learning in an approved, safe environment. After I graduate or if I choose to do an internship during my studies, I wouldn’t face any difficulties because I’m actually learning things that are globally approved. It’s a matter of trust, empowerment and confidence because I’m studying at an accredited university.”

–– Hanin Elfandi, biology major (premedical track); recipient of Tomorrow’s Leaders Scholarship

“For students, accreditation is important because they can trust that they will receive a good education at that university and receive a degree that will be recognized by other universities and employers. In this way, accreditation ‘protects’ students from spending money to obtain a degree that has no value. Accreditation also validates the hard work of AUC’s faculty and staff to offer a meaningful and valuable educational experience for students.”

 –– Elizabeth Arrigoni, senior instructor, Department of English Language Instruction

“AUC has maintained the MSCHE accreditation for decades. This status has significant impact on our students’ education and future prospects. It not only signals a certain level of quality of education and service, but also means securing student federal aid, ease of student mobility through transferable credits and higher potential employment opportunities. [Our] accreditation status confirms to the public that the educational programs, student services and graduate accomplishments are fair and accurate.”

–– AUC Provost Ehab Abdel-Rahman

Community Awareness

“Accreditation ensures that our processes are sufficient to accomplish our mission and that the University is following its own rules. It’s important that we’re not doing false advertising, that we’re not saying a grand mission and then not doing it. It’s important for the whole community to not only know what our mission is, but also to buy into it. Community forums bring people up to speed and tell them what our mission is and how they can participate.”

–– Mahmoud Farag, professor of mechanical engineering; director, Engineering and Science Services

 “Having community awareness sessions on campus helps avoid any miscommunication.”

–– Aziza Ellozy ’64, ’67, associate provost for transformative learning and teaching

 “We’re all different, so our views need to be heard.”

–– Mariam Hegazy, mechanical engineering sophomore

“Community feedback and discussion are particularly important in preparing for accreditation. All members of the community must have the opportunity to provide their input so that descriptions of what the University is doing well –– and what it may need to improve upon –– are accurate. The identification of problems or issues is a very important part of accreditation, as is the identification of possible solutions. Reaccreditation does not mean that AUC is perfect; however, the process serves the important function of helping us identify the areas in which we need to improve — and to determine the best ways to address whatever issues we may have. We cannot do this in a meaningful way unless members of all groups –– e.g. students, alumni, faculty, staff, and administration –– participate in the process.”

–– Elizabeth Arrigoni, senior instructor, Department of English Language Instruction

 

For more information, read AUC’s 2018 Self-Study Report and 2018 Self-Design Report