Accreditation Agencies and their Legitimacy: A Comparative Study between Mexico and the United States

Martínez, Ada Gema
Year of Publication: 

Within an international environment characterized by social and political pressures, regulatory organizations such as accrediting agencies develop to guarantee the quality of those educational institutions which submit to this scrutiny. The interest in accreditation processes of academic programs and institutions surpasses those of nations such that we find entire regions interested in generating a better comprehension of educational quality at a supranational level. Accrediting agencies, be they U.S. or Mexico based have the capacity and privilege of bestowing legitimacy on educational organizations and institutions. As a consequence it is important to ask: what are the processes that such accrediting organizations follow to obtain or maintain their own legitimacy in the eyes of the educational community and society in general? The purpose of this study is to open a space for analysis and reflection to identify the strategies that national accrediting agencies use to interact with those social actors in their surroundings that are necessary and indispensable for their existence and development. The study concludes by comparing these processes and types of strategies that legitimize them.

Event Information
Event Title: 
CONAHEC's 12th North American Higher Education Conference - Monterrey 2008
Event Description: 

Join leaders and practitioners of higher education, business, government and students in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico for CONAHEC’s 12th North American Higher Education Conference! North Americans share many historical, cultural, and linguistic bonds and many common issues to face. With the signing of NAFTA in 1994, our region has become inextricably linked by growing economic ties. Leaders in North America recognize that regional and individual community prosperity depends largely on the global competencies of our future professionals -- today's students. Governmental and educational leaders acknowledge that higher education institutions in North America must be more proactive and offer students opportunities to gain international expertise by becoming more internationally oriented while strengthening local connections in their teaching, research and public service functions.More than a decade after NAFTA was launched, it is increasingly evident that our region cannot isolate itself, but must rather develop stronger and more productive linkages both internally and with other world regions. Higher education has an important role to play in connecting North America with the rest of the world. Together, we will revitalize the North American higher education collaborative agenda for the new political, economic and educational context in which we live today.