Council on Occupational Education (COE) National Accreditation

The Council on Occupational Education (COE) was initially established in 1971 as a regional accrediting commission within the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The organization was re-established in 1995 as a national accreditor, distinct from SACS. COE is an independent, non-profit organization which evaluates and accredits non-degree-granting career and technical schools, as well as institutions which offer applied associate's degree programs. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) as a reputable national accreditor.

A list of all institutions accredited by COE is available at

Accreditation Eligibility

An institution must fulfill certain criteria before becoming eligible for accreditation through COE. The institution must be licensed by the state, and must operate for at least one-year as a licensed post-secondary institution. The institution must only provide career and vocational oriented training programs, and must grant diplomas, certificates, or degrees up to (but not beyond) the level of Associate's degree. The institution must also demonstrate financial stability, and must undergo an audit from an external CPA firm.

Also, COE will not accredit any institutions whose accreditation status has been denied or revoked by any other DOE-recognized accrediting agency.

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