Accreditation System for Public Postsecondary Career and Technical Education
The Pennsylvania State Board for Career and Technical Education is recognized by the United States Department of Education as an authority for the approval of public postsecondary career and technical education (PPCTE) institutions and programs offered at career and technical education institutions that are not offered for college credit. This recognition establishes the State Board as the accrediting body for PPCTE in Pennsylvania. It further requires the State Board to establish policies and standards pertaining to the accreditation process.
In response to its mission to lead and serve the educational community to enable each individual to grow into an inspired, productive, and fulfilled lifelong learner, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is accrediting postsecondary institutions and programs in the commonwealth whose programs equal or exceed 300 instructional hours, have credentialed instructors, and are administered separately from the secondary programs.
The accreditation process is voluntary and facilitates the documentation of internal processes and procedures that comprise a high quality postsecondary education. Once accredited, institutions may register their programs with Title IV, which makes available federal financial assistance to students. Programs exceeding 300 hours are eligible for low interest student loans and programs exceeding 600 hours are eligible for Pell Grants.
Program standards have been developed in an effort to promote a high commitment to excellence and continued improvement of career and technical education in Pennsylvania.
The Accreditation Guidelines document includes the application, annual operational report, appeal process and other topics.