Technology has revolutionized teaching. There are masters programs for teachers who want to learn how to incorporate more technology into the classroom.
Will your online degree be valuable to employers? Will credits from your online courses transfer to another school? Will your chosen online program offer a meaningful educational experience? The issue of college accreditation is central to answering all of these questions. This week, we’ll be answering the most frequently asked questions about attending accredited online colleges, the application process, online college tuition, the financial aid available, degree options and more.
FAQs about accreditation
What does “accredited” mean?
If an online college is accredited, then a non-profit agency approved by the US government has concluded that it meets certain standards of education.
Attending a school with accredited status brings important advantages: other accredited institutions of learning will consider accepting your credits and degrees, and employers will be more likely to believe that the degree you’ve been awarded adequately prepared you for professional practice.
How do schools become accredited?
Non-profit accrediting agencies put traditional campuses and online colleges through a peer-review process. This involves faculty members assessing the publications and research of their colleagues at other institutions.
Other factors considered in the accreditation process include additional measures of faculty quality as well as the school’s goals, resources, admission requirements, course offerings, and student support services.
What is a diploma mill?
Unfortunately, the education sector is not free of corruption. Some online schools offer degrees that are essentially meaningless: other schools will not consider their credits, and employers will not take their degrees seriously. Such schools are called diploma mills. Their commitment is not to education but to quick profit.
To avoid falling victim to a diploma mill, simply ensure that the school you enroll in is accredited by an appropriate agency.
How many colleges and universities are accredited?
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) database includes more than 7,700 accredited institutions. These offer a combined total of nearly 19,000 degree-granting and non-degree-granting programs! With just a bit of research, it’s easy to avoid a diploma mill and find the ideal program for your online college needs.
How can I ensure that an online college or university is accredited by a reputable agency?
Almost every school is accredited by some agency, but not every agency is meaningful. To avoid confusion, simply check the U.S. Department of Education’s database of accredited colleges and universities. You can also search the database maintained by CHEA, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. These only include schools that have been approved by CHEA-affiliated agencies.
Which accrediting agencies for online colleges are legitimate?
The CHEA list of acceptable accrediting agencies includes dozens of organizations. They fall into four categories: regional, faith-based, career-related, and programmatic.
Most traditional schools are advertised primarily as being accredited by a regional agency. Accredited online colleges may also be accredited regionally and/or by the Distance Education and Training Council.
Additionally, career-related and programmatic accreditations may be given to specific degrees, departments, or colleges. These accreditations may be important when a student seeks licensure or employment. They tell a network of professionals that the graduate has had a certain type of training.
This article originally appeared on accreditedonlinecolleges.net.
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