What You Should Know About Accreditation
Accreditation is a mechanism for assuring academic quality in higher education. The institution that sponsors an accredited CAHIIM program, is required to have institutional accreditation by a regional or qualified institutional accreditor which must be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and must have provisions for Title IV Eligibility. This allows that institution to provide:
Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid.
Ability to Transfer Credits: Accreditation provides for establishing the acceptability of credits from school to school.
- Ability to enroll in Graduate education: If your undergraduate degree was earned at an unaccredited institution you run the risk that the graduate school in which you would like to enroll will not accept your degree.
Professional programmatic accreditation means that in addition to the college or university's regional or national accreditation, programs in health information and health informatics may choose to seek CAHIIM accreditation, which is a voluntary peer review process to evaluate the program of study against CAHIIM Standards.
Program accreditation by CAHIIM is necessary in order to be eligible for the AHIMA professional HIM Certification Exams. A graduate is required to have completed an accredited CAHIIM program in order to be eligible to take the exam and become certified. CAHIIM accredited programs are quality programs that provide professionally required knowledge and skills, and employment marketability. Graduating from a CAHIIM accredited program offers employers assurance that you have the expected professional knowledge and skills, and have experienced a curriculum that is relevant to today's electronic health record (EHR) environment.
Q. What if my program of choice is a candidate and not yet accredited by CAHIIM?
A. Students enrolled in or that graduate from Candidacy Programs will be eligible to apply for the AHIMA professional certification exams once the program has achieved CAHIIM accreditation. It is the responsibility of the Program Director to inform students when this program status has been achieved.
Q. Several campuses at my college of choice offers HIM programs but only one campus is accredited by CAHIIM. What does this mean?
A. CAHIIM accredits each program independently, so it is important to speak with the program director at the accredited program campus about the relationship to the other campus programs and to get clarification as to the institution's plans for accreditation review of additional campus programs.