The American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) accreditation process and guiding policies and procedures are based on recognized and accepted practices utilized by educational accrediting organizations nationwide. The AALE Standards are the basis of the accreditation review process. 

The primary parts of the accreditation process are:

Eligibility review 

Application for eligibility is completed and submitted with supporting documents. AALE staff checks the documents to ensure that the applicant can be reviewed for accreditation under the AALE Standards.

Intent to apply

A letter of intent to apply for accreditation is submitted after successful completion of an eligibility review to formally begin the accreditation process.


Applicant completes a comprehensive narrative self-study with full supporting documentation explaining how it meets each of the AALE Standards.

Site evaluation visit 

Applicant accepts a site evaluation visit conducted by a team of AALE trained site visitors. The site visit includes class visits, interviews with administration, faculty, students and a tour of facilities to verify contents of the self-study.

Site evaluation visit report 

Applicant receives a copy of the site evaluation visit report and submits a formal response to the report.

Final review and decision 

Application is forwarded to the Council of Scholars for recommendation and then presented to the Board of Trustees for final decision.  The Board conducts accreditation decision sessions at regularly scheduled meetings.