An educational plan (i.e., program) consists of evidence that the institution of higher education:

  1. Confers degrees "by policy, the Commission accredits institutions only after they confer their first degrees. For candidate institutions that have yet to graduate a student, it is sufficient to show that the institution has a plan and a timetable ensuring that it will confer degrees within the candidacy period." (NCA Handbook, 2nd Edition, 1997, p. 22)
  2. Has degree programs in operation with students enrolled in them. (ibid, p. 23)
  3. The degree programs are compatible with the institution's mission and based on recognized fields of study at the higher education level. (ibid, p. 23)
  4. The degrees are appropriately named, following practices common to institutions of higher education in terms of both length and content of their programs. (ibid, p. 23)
  5. The undergraduate degree programs include a coherent general education requirement consistent with the institution's mission and designed to ensure breadth of knowledge and to promote intellectual inquiry. (ibid, p. 23)


A measurement equal to one student enrolled full time for one academic year. Total FTE enrollment includes full time plus the calculated equivalent of the part-time enrollment. The full-time equivalent of the part-time students can be estimated using different factors depending on the type and control of institution and level of student. For Bureau of Indian Education and AIHEC purposes, FTE is calculated by dividing by 12 the sum of all credit hours enrolled in by full- and part-time student in one academic year.


Strategic planning is a long-term, future-oriented process of assessment, goal setting, and decision making that maps an explicit path between the present and a vision of the future. It relies on careful consideration of an organization's capabilities and environment and leads to priority-based resource allocation.

Strategic planning can be accomplished in a variety of ways. The following tasks are frequently part of the strategic planning process:

  1. Vision Statements are an inspiring picture of a preferred future.
  2. Mission Statements define what an organization seeks to accomplish through its activities.
  3. Goals are the long-term end toward which programs and activities are directed.
  4. Objectives are clear targets for specific actions. They are more defined than goals and have shorter time frames. An objective is achievable, measurable, and sets the direction for strategies. A single goal may have multiple strategies.
  5. Strategies are general methods or approaches to achieve goals and objectives.
  6. Action Plans are specific actions that comprise a strategy.
  7. Performance Measures are indicators of the effect of action plans and strategies.
  8. Timelines are specific points in time in which action plan tasks will be completed.
  9. Criteria are agreed upon standards for knowing when goals and objectives have been met.


See preceding Strategic Planning and Strategic Plan definition. Such plan shall include:

  1. Reference to a written description of the institution's current education operations and the institution's feasibility study; and
  2. Detailed plan, including objectives, strategies/action plans, performance measures, and timelines for completing development of an educational plan of operation, implementing such educational plan of operation, and achieving candidacy status with a regional institutional accrediting association recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.