Saddleback Colleges Associate of Science Degrees are Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
The mission of the accreditation system is to set a standard of excellence for early childhood degree programs and to recognize programs that have demonstrated they meet this standard, thereby benefiting the early childhood profession, young children, families, and communities. NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation involves an in-depth review of early childhood higher education programs, beginning with the submission of an application to confirm eligibility. Eligible programs engage in self-study by working with stakeholders to reflect on the program's strengths and areas for improvement, collect data, and implement changes. Programs host a team of peer reviewers for a three-day site visit, and findings are shared with the Commission, the decision-making body that makes the final accreditation decision. Accreditation occurs in a seven-year cycle, with programs submitting annual reports to maintain accreditation.