What Are The Kinds Of Accreditation For Online Universities
Feb 3, 2013 Career Development 1763 Views
Distance education has provided access to post-secondary education to thousands of individuals. Learning from a distance may involve getting work via the mail, television or at a community teaching site. A popular way to delivery courses to students is over the Internet. Many online universities offer individual courses in addition to complete degree programs that eliminate the need to go to a brick-and-mortar campus. A huge concern of prospective online students is the accreditation status of the university that plan to apply for admission to.
Accreditation agencies are responsible for certifying that colleges meet a minimum set of standards. Such standards are in place to make sure students can get a reasonable college education. Accreditation is thorough and long process. In order to attain accreditation, a college has to apply, complete a self-study, pay fees and host an accrediting evaluation team to the campus. There are two main types of college accrediting agencies: national and regional.
Regional accreditors accredit colleges within a certain geographic area. For an online college that does not have a physical campus, this means where the school has its headquarters. Regional accreditation enables a schools to take part in federal financial aid programs. Credits earned at a college the is regionally-accredited are usually transferable to most other colleges. Regionally-accredited degrees are usually recognized when applying for a professional license.
National accreditors accredit colleges around the nation. Colleges are also eligible to participate in the federal financial aid program. There may be less transferability of credits earned at a school that is nationally-accredited, especially when trying to transfer to a regionally-accredited school. Acceptance of a nationally-accredited education for a professional license depends on the jurisdiction where the person is applying for such license. It is important to note the two main types of national accreditors.
A great deal of nationally-accredited schools are career, vocational and trade schools. Some accreditation agencies are devoted to such schools. Programs of study include computer technology, culinary arts, building trades and cosmetology.
A second major group of colleges with national accreditation are faith-based colleges. This includes seminaries, Christian liberal arts colleges and Bible colleges. Along with institutional and academic requirements, colleges must often agree with the religious doctrine of its accreditation agency. That is one reason why some colleges may opt for national accreditation as opposed to regional accreditation.
It is a possibility that a regionally-accredited college may not qualify for national accreditation. Moreover, it is also possible for a college to have both regional and national accreditation. Colleges often see disadvantages or advantage for each type of accreditation. Students should keep in mind that no college is obligated to accept college credits earned at another college just because of its accreditation.
To ascertain the accreditation status of a college, go to its official website. There, search for its accreditation details. Navigate to the education department website for a listing of recognized accreditation agencies. Check the website of the accreditation agency to see if the school of other online universities of interest have any accreditation challenges to note.