How can I investigate whether an institute is authentic and accredited?

Which web-sites or listings can I check?

For instance, say I want to investigate The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

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    I would note, of course, that there are some non-reputable "accrediting" agencies. The reputable ones in the US are all registered with the department of education. That is, accrediting agencies should, themselves, be accredited (US). See: ed.gov/accreditation – Buffy May 29 at 14:51
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    Your question, How do I know that a educational institute is accredited? is a good question. However, Which web-sites or listings to check? is a shopping question. Please consider removing it. Also, there are similar questions on this site such as academia.stackexchange.com/questions/82955/… – Richard Erickson May 29 at 15:42
  • To add to @Buffy's comment: see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accreditation_mill – Kimball May 29 at 16:12
  • Note that if you see a claim that an institution US is accredited by a particular agency it is always best to go to the website of that agency to verify that the institution is (still) accredited. Furthermore, if you're not familiar with the accrediting agency you should check to see whether the accreditor is recognized by the US Department of Education. – Brian Borchers May 29 at 17:34

Googling 'The Chicago School accreditation' leads to their accreditation page. There it is stated that

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) since 2011. To learn more about WSCUC, please see their contact information below. Click here  to view our Statement of Accreditation Status

You can then go to the WASC list of institutions and find The Chicago School listed there.

Having tried several other semi-random institutions, googling '[name] accreditation' usually results in a page on their site listing who accredits them. A second google search will get to that accreditation agency's list of schools that it accredits if you want to double check.

A further complication is that there may be multiple accreditation organizations involved, some for specific departments or schools within a university. For example, Princeton University is, according their Office of Institutional Research, accredited through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In addition, the Engineering School is accredited through the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc. So, you may need to dig deeper to discover if a particular major, program, or department is accredited appropriately for what you need.

Although, one should be aware of just what accreditation means. Fortunately, what was horrendously prescriptive in the 1980s (particularly in engineering) has become more holistic in approach and focused on outcomes, not specific courses with a specific syllabus.

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    Hmmm. The downvote was surprising. – Buffy May 29 at 14:44
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    @Buffy - well, it is basically a description of how to google things... – Jon Custer May 29 at 14:46
  • Good answer. Also, consider adding in that specific programs are often accredited in addition to the university-level accreditation. For example, the ACS accredits chemistry programs and Engineering programs often are accredited. – Richard Erickson May 29 at 15:46
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    @RichardErickson - yes, an interesting point to add (that I actually was well aware of, just didn't drink enough coffee this morning I guess). – Jon Custer May 29 at 15:48
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    @Buffy - sadly, my thermos from home is now empty and the cafeteria is closed because of Covid... All downhill from here! – Jon Custer May 29 at 16:03

This might help. First, check if it is on the list of unaccredited colleges. I didn't have time to look.

Wikipedia: List of unaccredited institutions of higher education https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unaccredited_institutions_of_higher_education

Edit. I return with another link. I trust Wikipedia to write something about The Chicago School of Professional Psychology as in link below It seems accredited and it was established in 1979. It looks good. You might have to do more researches into this college. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chicago_School_of_Professional_Psychology

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  • Wikipedia: List of unaccredited institutions of higher education – Why does that even exist? It’s has no chance of ever being complete or useful. – Wrzlprmft May 30 at 6:42

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