Meredith College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097 or call (404) 679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Meredith College. The Commission should be contacted only if there is evidence that appears to support an institution’s significant non-compliance with a requirement standard.
American Bar Association Approval (ABA)
The Paralegal Program is approved by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals. Contact the ABA at 750 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611 or call (312) 988-5618.
The American Bar Association has long been a leader in encouraging expanded and more effective utilization of paralegals. In the early 1970s the ABA established the Standing Committee on Legal Assistants (now called the Standing Committee on Paralegals) with the goal, among others, of promoting quality in paralegal education. One of the Standing Committee’s most important activities has been to develop guidelines and a voluntary approval process for paralegal education programs. The ABA’s Guidelines for the Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programs, first published in 1974, cover every aspect of program operation with detailed requirements in each area. Programs seeking ABA approval must demonstrate continuing compliance with the Guidelines by submitting periodic reports which are verified by on-site visits from an evaluation team.
The Paralegal Program at Meredith was originally approved by the ABA in 1983 and re-approved in 1989, 1994, 1999, and 2005. As of August 1998, there were 226 ABA-approved paralegal programs in the country. North Carolina now has four ABA-approved programs.
American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE)
Another organization dedicated to promoting high standards in paralegal education is the American Association for Paralegal Education (AAfPE), a national association of schools that offer paralegal programs. AAfPE was founded in 1981 with the cooperation of the ABA Standing Committee to provide a forum for professional improvement and technical support for paralegal educators. Educational institutions are eligible for institutional membership in AAfPE if they are either ABA approved or in “substantial compliance” with the ABA Guidelines. The Paralegal Program at Meredith College has been a member of AAfPE since 1987.
A North Carolina State Bar Qualified Program
Meredith’s Paralegal Program is a North Carolina State Bar Qualified Program, retroactively to 1980. The North Carolina State Bar qualifies programs that meet the minimum standards of paralegal education for students to qualify to become North Carolina Certified Paralegals. Determination that a paralegal studies program is qualified under this section does not constitute an approval or an endorsement of the program by the board or the North Carolina State Bar.