The accreditation standards by which an institution is measured have been developed for use in evaluating its educational effectiveness. These standards are organized under two headings: FOUNDATIONAL STANDARDS and OPERATIONAL STANDARDS. The standards are designed to guide institutions from initial application through the periodic reassessment process required of accredited institutions. The Foundational Standards section and the Operational Standards section provide the substantive issues that must be specifically and thoroughly addressed in the institution's Self- Study Report to certify compliance.

It should be noted that BOTH the opening descriptive statements AND the standards and evaluative criteria themselves are to serve as the basis of the institution's self-study process and are to be addressed in the self-study report. We are pleased to provide online access to the TRACS Accreditation Manual, which details the standards by which accreditation may be attained.

PDF files

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Additional Resources

PDF files

Self-Study Packet

Self-Study Guidelines

PDF document providing guidance to institutions engaged in the Self-Study process Click HERE >

Self-Study Template

Word document to download, complete and submit. Click HERE >

Complaint Packet

Complaint Policy

PDF document explaining TRACS Policies and Procedures for filing a complaint regarding a member institution. Click HERE >

Complaint Information Sheet

PDF file |  TRACS only considers complaints which are in accordance with our Principles and Procedures. Click HERE >

Complaint Form

Word document to download, complete and submit. Click HERE >

Degree Mills and Accreditation Mills

One critical issue in higher education today which TRACS wishes to bring to the attention of our institutions, is the emergence of Degree Mills and Accreditation Mills.

Degree mills are bogus educational institutions that claim to offer certificates and/or degrees, though they have no basis in sound educational practices. These operations are intended to take money from students under the pretense of receiving a recognized degree, when, in fact, many of these operations open and close quickly or move from state to state to avoid legal actions from those who have taken advantage of their promised services.

Accreditation Mills provide accreditation to institutions without the quality assurance of recognition by either the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In our efforts to protect both our institutions and potential students, TRACS would like to refer to the following CHEA website for a more complete source of information regarding both of these types or organizations:

This Website contains five major sections.

  • The first section provides links to information about institutions and programs that are accredited by recognized U.S. accrediting organizations.
  • The second section includes links to material on how accreditation operates and how to look for organizations that may be accreditation mills.
  • The third section focuses on degree mills: links to potentially pertinent information and information on how degree mills may be identified.
  • The fourth section provides links to state-by-state information on institutions and programs authorized to operate in the respective states. Some of these states also provide information about entities they believe to be degree mills.
  • The fifth section contains links to international directories of higher education institutions.