Gateway Institutional and Program Accreditation
Let Gateway help you make the difference through institutional and programmatic accreditation.

Higher education accreditation from a respected accrediting body spotlights the quality, credibility and effectiveness of an institution’s programs, increasing that institution’s visibility to prospective students and colleagues through collaborative and trusted networks. Whether though the six institutional U.S. accreditors or the many programmatic accrediting agencies, accreditation builds networks, improves strategies, and affirms best practices that students and colleagues rely on to maintain quality programs.

At Gateway, we understand that exploring and preparing for U.S. accreditation can be a daunting task. We understand the risks and rewards of pursuing a U.S. accreditation process, from early considerations to the successful award of accreditation. Through our consultation services grounded in innovative approaches to accreditation and the assessment of institutional success, Gateway provides professional guidance and assistance to international institutions with exploring the complex nature of pursuing U.S. accreditation.

Why U.S. Accreditation Works

An institution’s accreditation often serves as a truly important decision-making factor for students exploring where to study and for faculty and staff deciding where to pursue their academic careers. When an institution of higher education holds U.S. accreditation, it means that the institution’s quality, rigorousness, and standards have been reviewed and vetted by a third-party professional organization that is affirmed by the U.S. Department of Education, and that the institution has gained the approval of accreditation organizations that have supported some of the most notable institutions in the world.
Gateway’s team can help you explore whether U.S. accreditation is the right strategic path for your institution and build a pathway toward achieving the critical distinction of accreditation.

U.S. Accrediting Agencies

The U.S. Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Association (CHEA) and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) affirm associations that oversee accreditation at the institutional or program level. In the United States, there are six U.S. Department of Education-approved institutional accrediting agencies that accredit higher education institutions both within the U.S. and in international locations:

Each institutional accrediting body follows similar collaborative processes and maintains equivalent standards of institutional quality and effectiveness. Differences between the agencies are primarily reflected in the geographical profile of the colleges and universities accredited under the agency.

There are also many professional accrediting agencies that accredit subject-area programs. A few of the largest examples include:

Accreditation Process

Every 8 to 10 years, an accredited institution performs a self-assessment to ensure it is on par with the standards set by its accrediting body. Best practices of the accreditation process encourage the campus community to embrace accreditation as an important facet of institutional improvement, leading to continual institutional improvement. There are number of generalized steps involved in obtaining and maintaining accreditation. Gateway will guide our client institutions through the many complexities and nuances involved of the accreditation process.
1. Enrollment

An institution of higher education begins its accreditation by enrolling to be one of an accrediting body’s participating institutions.

2. Self-Study
Following enrollment, the institution establishes its cycle of accreditation processes, initiated by a self-study and review process defined by the accrediting body.

3. Validation

The institution enters into parallel processes during the self-study process to both construct a narrative that expresses compliance with the accrediting body’s stated standards, and to gather evidence of compliance as it is expressed in the self-study narrative.

4. Accreditation Decision

Most accrediting bodies require an external team visit to campus, made up of accreditation experts. The visiting team submits a report to the accrediting body, after which an accreditation decision is made by an experienced panel of delegates from the accrediting body.

5. Compliance/Improvement Plan

In response to the requirements of the institution’s accreditation decision, the institution must respond where required, often with the development and reporting of compliance measures, a progress report, and/or institutional data that evidences improvement. This process varies according to the accrediting body, sometimes requiring additional reports and external team visits.

6. Anual Reporting

In order to maintain accreditation status until the next self-study process, accrediting bodies require the submission of annual reports containing information such as institutional data, operational/academic changes, opening/closure of programs, and strategic updates. Most accrediting bodies also require a mid-point report, which provides opportunities for course correction before the next self-study cycle.

Our Services​

We understand that each institution is unique and has its own needs, and that’s why Gateway’s accreditation services are customized for each of our partner institutions to accommodate differences in institutional culture, size, and accreditation needs.

OPTION A: Consultation and Support Services

As needed, Gateway can provide a confidential consultation to explore your institution’s interest in seeking U.S. accreditation and offer advice and recommendations toward accreditation based on current best practices in assessment, institutional effectiveness strategies, and resource needs. We can also offer guidance in choosing the most appropriate accrediting bodies for your institution and discussions/workshops with stakeholders concerning accreditation processes.

Gateway has developed an Accreditation Readiness Checklist for international institutions seeking U.S. accreditation. Through this innovative assessment, Gateway can assist your institution with determining its preparedness to pursue international accreditation.

OPTION B: Accreditation Documentation and Process Support

Gateway can assist your institution with designing, building, launching and maintaining your accreditation. Gateway can provide your institution with support to inform and affirm all aspects of the accreditation process, from establishing an accreditation timeline and process, advising on materials generation and organization, reviewing self-study narratives, enhancing campus engagement and communication protocols, etc. While the institution must drive the process, Gateway can provide assistance and guidance throughout.

Our Partner Institutions

Gateway works with a diverse array of institutions and organizations around the world. Our services are customized to our partner institutions’ needs and budgets. Gateway’s accreditation services are customized to institutions located outside of the United States who are or are planning to explore U.S.-based institutional or programmatic accreditation. We are here to help.

Gateway’s services should not be perceived as legal counsel, but rather as an advisory function to help your institution align with best practices with securing international accreditation. Gateway is well-equipped to provide trusted guidance, but ultimately our partner institutions determines whether to implement any recommendations provided by Gateway.

Our Expertise

Gateway International Group offers highly professional and seasoned international educators who bring years of experience in higher education and have extensive knowledge of best practices of assessment, accreditation and institutional improvement. Gateway will assign a team of experienced consultants and other operational staff as needed to fit the goals of your institution.

Sandra Crenshaw, Ph.D.

Senior Consultant
Sandra Crenshaw has helped develop and review accreditation processes and outcomes at universities around the world for nearly ten years. She has participated in accreditation processes from all sides, including serving on review teams, leading accreditation process development and implementation, and currently serves as the Accreditation Liaison Officer at her current institution. She has served in several pilot accreditation initiatives with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, including new external team leadership structures and virtual team visits.

Getting Started

We understand that effective partnerships are borne out of close collaboration and mutual respect. We take the time to understand your priorities and concerns so that we can provide the best service possible. Our process generally includes these steps:

1. Needs Assessment

We will conduct an initial intake and needs assessment to discuss how best Gateway can support your needs.

2. Primary Liaison

Together, we will identify and assign primary liaisons to ensure effective and streamlined communication between Gateway and your institution.

3. Agreement

We will negotiate a detailed services agreement in accordance with an agreed upon scope of services.

4. Initiation

Gateway will seek an introduction and orientation to your institution’s current institutional systems, structures, and protocols vis-à-vis the scope of requested services.

5. Reporting

For all contracted services, as appropriate, Gateway will prepare final written reports on services rendered and recommendations proposed.

6. Monitoring

Depending on the nature of the assignment, Gateway will conduct periodic review and assessment meetings to discuss provided services and make modifications as needed.

Our Diversity Promise

Gateway International, LLC is dedicated to the principles of diversity and inclusion and is committed to increase diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in the international higher education space. Gateway strongly supports all activities related to affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. Gateway’s International Regulatory Compliance Solution will include recommendations if warranted to assist an institution with reviewing their global operations through the principles of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion.

Resources On International Accreditation

There are various publications that provide support and guidance on international institution and program accreditation. Here are a few:
Ruben, B. (2016) Excellence in Higher Education Guide: A Framework for the Design, Assessment, and Continuing Improvement of Institutions, Departments, and Programs. 8th Edition. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Souza, J. and Rose, T. (2021) Exemplars of Assessment in Higher Education: Diverse Approaches to Addressing Accreditation Standards. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Suskie, L. (2018) Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. 3rd Edition. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass.

Our Costs

Gateway understands the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on institutions and organizations around the world and as such, prioritizes efficiency and affordability in our pricing. Our prices are flexible and tailored, generally determined on project scope and expectations. Gateway is prepared to navigate future uncertainties in higher education in partnership with our clients and be as flexible as possible in the best interests of our partnerships. Contracts are typically fixed term and based on a one-time, pre-determined fee.

Let's get started

Gateway stands ready to work with you on providing affordable, cost-effective solutions to meet your international accreditation needs. Contact us today to start the conversation and learn more about our consultation services to help institutions explore the deep benefits of accreditation and how accreditation can help an institution communicate student success and program effectiveness. So that we can connect you with the appropriate Gateway professional, please complete this brief intake form.

Gateway International Group has made the commitment to allocate 3% of all revenue to support traditionally underrepresented student participation in international learning and engagement. We have designated the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) as a recipient of funds gathered through Gateway Education Abroad. FEA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented in U.S. education abroad.

Sandra Crenshaw


Dr. Sandra Crenshaw is the Associate Provost and Accreditation Liaison Officer for Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania. As a scholar-practitioner in international higher education for the past 30 years, Crenshaw has gained executive and management experience in strategic planning and accreditation; curriculum development and effectiveness assessment, and building leadership capacity in nonprofit and higher education environments.
Crenshaw has been instrumental in developing initiatives with organizations such as the Peace Corps and Global Brigades in Central America and Africa, has taught intercultural engagement courses at universities in China, and has extensive experience developing and teaching students in online, international, and COIL classrooms. Her previous experiences have taken her to Mumbai to guide the development of the Global Pathways Institute, to China to teach students intending to study in the US, and to several countries in the Caribbean and Europe for accreditation initiatives.
Crenshaw’s current work includes strategic planning, accreditation and institutional effectiveness, and program/curriculum development.

Episode 29: Cultural Lens on U.S. Higher Education: Analyzing International Perceptions of 'Anti-Woke’ Discourse

Dive into a nuanced exploration of the global discourse surrounding higher education in the United States. Join us for a panel discussion with esteemed international educators as we embark on a journey through the lenses of culture and international perspective, examining how global audiences interpret and engage with the ‘anti-woke’ discourse within the context of U.S. higher education. This engaging panel discussion will delve into the intersections of culture, ideology, and education, and the complex landscape of how international audiences perceive the ‘anti-woke’ narrative that has emerged within U.S. academia.

Whether you’re a senior international officer, or simply curious about the diverse viewpoints shaping U.S. higher education, this podcast episode will provide an invaluable space for critical analysis and insightful conversations.

Speaker Biography:

Fanta Aw is a distinguished leader in international education, renowned for her extensive contributions to global learning, cross-cultural understanding, and educational equity. With a deep commitment to fostering connections between diverse cultures and promoting educational excellence, she has significantly impacted the international education community.

Fanta Aw’s career has been characterized by her dedication to advancing global education initiatives, promoting diversity and inclusion, and nurturing partnerships that transcend borders. She has held influential roles in various organizations, advocating for the importance of international collaboration and learning experiences that empower individuals to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

As a thought leader and visionary, Fanta Aw’s insights and expertise have shaped discussions on the future of international education, emphasizing the significance of equitable access, cultural exchange, and lifelong learning. Her work has not only elevated institutions but has also inspired countless individuals to embrace the transformative power of global education.

Date: September 14th, 2023
Time: 12 noon ET

Sponsored by:

Mark Beirn


An experienced global researcher and administrator, Mark Beirn brings a critical approach to risk management, factoring structural racism and identity-based violence into his rubric for supporting equitable global mobility.

Specialization Areas:

– Global Risk Management
– Education Abroad
– Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in International Education
– Health and Safety
– Curriculum Development


Stephen Appiah-Padi​


Stephen Appiah-Padi is an international educator with several years of teaching and administrative experience in both 4 and 2-year HEIs. An experienced global education practitioner-scholar, with a demonstrated history of success in the field.

Dr. Appiah-Padi has a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada in Educational Policy & Administration with a specialization in International/Intercultural Education.

At Northwestern College, he provided oversight in the administration of education abroad and international student services. In Lansing, Michigan, he first oversaw diversity and intercultural education at Lansing Community College, and later created the Center for International and Intercultural Education (CIIE) which merged intercultural engagement and international education programs of the institution, and he became its first director. Additionally, Dr. Appiah-Padi taught a course, “Diversity in the American Workplace”, to undergraduate management students of the College. In his current position, he provides leadership and vision in advancing strategic internationalization initiatives, including international partnerships and study abroad programs at Bucknell University.

Dr Appiah-Padi has created and facilitated several workshops for faculty and staff development in higher education and in business organizations. He has presented at several national and international conferences. In NAFSA, among several volunteer leadership positions, he has served as Dean of the Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication Workshop, the Leadership Development Committee member, Chair of the Africa Special Interest Group, and a Fellow of the Global Fellowship Program for mentoring emerging leaders of internationalization in African HEIs. He currently serves as a member of the NAFSA Board of Directors.

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Rosa Almoguera


Dr. Rosa Almoguera has worked as an international educator for over twenty years. She was trained as a Hispanic Philologist at the Universidad Complutense, in Madrid, and did her M.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D., from Universidad Complutense included a field study and edition of written balladry “Romancero”. During many years Rosa combined teaching and her role as a senior administrator at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón in Toledo, Spain. At the Foundation, Rosa directed and, in many cases created, programs for the University of Minnesota, Notre Dame, Princeton, Ohio State, Arcadia, and the University of Chicago. She has also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, University of Portland, and Interamericana de Puerto Rico.

Beginning in 2016, Rosa works as an international education consultant for both public and private European and US higher education institutions. Rosa has been successful in developing new partnerships and programs, as well as helping improve already existing ones.

Rosa is a member of Forum and NAFSA and has presented with higher education professionals on innovative academic and research programming, STEM in study abroad and Nationalism in Europe. Rosa is currently completing the final Professional Certification from the Forum on Education Abroad.