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A Critical Perspective on Nonprofit Accreditation

Roseanne Mirabella, Angela Eikenberry


In this paper, we draw on a critical theory perspective to address the question, would a minimally invasive accreditation process be wise, possible, and credible? We do this by first providing an assessment of what we see as current oppressive structures that accreditation would likely affirm rather than challenge. Next, we present evidence from the literature on the consequences of accreditation. We suggest that although accreditation might be possible, it may not be wise or credible if we are concerned with preparing students for social change efforts. Finally, we present an alternative approach to thinking about and providing nonprofit management education.


critical theory; accreditation; nonprofit management education

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