Accreditation at AUI
ACCREDITATION AT AL AKHAWAYN UNIVERSITY IN IFRANE
As part of its unremitting quest for self-improvement and quality assurance, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane has been pursuing various levels of programmatic accreditation for several years.
- In December 2009, the Language Center (LC) was accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). Re-accreditation was granted for 10 years—from 2014 to 2024—which is the largest accreditation period the commission approves.
- In 2010, the School of Business Administration (SBA) was accredited by the European Programme Accreditation System (EPAS) for its Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree. Re-accreditation is set to be re-evaluated in 2017.
- In 2011, the School of Science and Engineering (SSE) had its Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
- In February 2014, the Center for Learning Excellence (CLE) Tutoring and Mentoring training programs were certified by the College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA).
- In 2017, the School of Science and Engineering (SSE) had its General Engineering (GE) and its Management Science (MS) programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
While different programs have proven to abide by clear standards of excellence, the University has not had the chance to evaluate their quality—until now. After nine years of continuous efforts, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane was granted its first institutional accreditation for five years by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) with the opportunity for renewal.
- In 2008, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane began the process of improving its educational effectiveness, and began work on its “Report of Eligibility”.
- In June 2010 and October 2010, the “Report of Eligibility” was submitted for review and the NEASC review team visited AUI for the first time.
- In December 2010, the University was granted “Eligible” status for the accreditation.
- In February 2011, a University-wide candidacy “Self-Study” was set up with a committee constituted of over forty members.
- In April 2011, the NEASC Associate Director visited Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane to help launch the project.
- In January 2012, the “Self-Study” for “Candidate” status was submitted.
- In March 2012, the Review Team revisited Al Akhwayan University in Ifrane.
- In November 2012, the University was granted “Candidate” status for accreditation by NEASC. This pre-accreditation status indicated that the University had met the commission’s necessary criterion to proceed toward accreditation.
- During the 2014-2015 academic year, the University successfully completed its biennial “Self-Study”, accompanied by an onsite visit by an evaluation team composed of representatives from seven universities belonging to NEASC’s Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE).
- The “Self-Study” ended in 2016, and an eight-member peer-evaluation team visited the University in March 2017.
- In November 2017, NEASC granted the University its initial institutional accreditation for five years, which is the maximum initial accreditation period an institution may be granted. Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane became the first non-U.S., American accredited university on the continent.
- On November 23rd and 24th 2017, the President of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education at NEASC, Dr. Barbara Brittingham, visited Morocco to announce this achievement to the public, the University’s trusted partners, and the Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane community.
NEASC, IN A GLIMPSE
NEASC strives to establish and maintain high standards at all levels of education. The institution serves some 1,866 public and independent schools, colleges, and universities in the six New England states, and 114 American/International schools around the globe.
NEASC-accredited institutions undergo periodic reviews of their programs and structure in order to maintain their accreditation. Part of the re-accreditation process is a “Self-Study”, which necessitates supporting documents that examine every key area necessary to the success and sustainability of the institution. The “Self-Study” is used as a basis on which to determine an institution’s effectiveness in contrast with national norms. However, NEASC also recognizes that each institution is unique and is also careful to evaluate each one in terms of its own self-defined mission.
There are seven regional higher education accrediting bodies within the U.S., one of which is the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE)—a constituent element of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). The Commission is staffed by ten elected members—faculty, staff, and members of the general public from its various accredited institutions—and is led by Dr. Barbara Brittingham. The CIHE is known for having granted institutional accreditation to esteemed universities and colleges such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston College, Harvard University, Boston University, and Yale University.
Only ten institutions outside of the U.S. have ever been granted the institutional accreditation: Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane is among those ten.
A CONTINOUS COMMITMENT TO QUALITY ASSURANCE –
This initial institutional accreditation granted by NEASC serves as confirmation that the University has chosen the correct path. As stated in its mission, the University “upholds the highest academic and ethical standards, and promotes equity and social responsibility”.
This commitment is reiterated each day as members of the community enact the 2015–2020 strategic plan in which quality assurance figures as one of the six priorities whose aim is to achieve and enhance the future.
Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane continues to believe that its continued existence lies in its ability to provide its students with the best possible quality of education. To do so, the University has a clear plan. It is to:
1) Increase the number of programmatic accreditations.
2) Establish recurrent internal auditing, quality assurance, and institutional research.
3) Be re-accredited in 2022.
The world of education is continuously evolving, and Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane intends on evolving with it in order to guarantee both its future, and those of its students.