dcsimg



Schools in the USA

Online College Accreditation

Legitimacy is one of the main issues you need to face when it comes to online colleges. Accreditation is one way to ensure you aren't getting involved with a scam, a fly-by-night operation or a diploma mill whose credential will be meaningless to potential employers.

Accreditation is a form of independent, professional certification that focuses on schools and programs in a particular field. Accreditation of online colleges therefore assures you and your parents that the institution adheres to high quality standards. Which means the programs are delivered by qualified faculty and are constantly updated to follow the changes and meet the needs of the relevant industry or working world. A degree or other credential from an accredited institution or program can help make you more competitive on the job market.

Accreditation in the US takes place at different levels. At the highest level, the US Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Association (CHEA) and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) grant power to associations that oversee accreditation at the regional, institutional or program level.

  • Regional: The US Department of Education recognizes 6 distinct higher educational regions, each of which is overseen by a different accrediting body. This is the type of accreditation most commonly referred to and is for an institution as a whole, not for individual programs. Accreditation by these regional agencies isn't automatic: this is voluntary accreditation.


  • Institutional: Depending on the kind of online college it is (e.g., private, public, community, career, Christian, etc.) it may also be accredited by institute-type specific agencies. America's colleges, even online colleges, are extremely different in character and in the programs they offer. Therefore a school may be accredited by one or more organizations.


  • Specialized: Specialized accreditation focuses on specific areas of study and individual programs. This is sometimes called professional accreditation, because it means specific programs meet the national standards for that field of study. Online colleges cover a wide range of programs, and each institution usually has a page on its website listing both institutional and individual program accreditation.

    Therefore, when assessing the quality of an online college, you should look for both national and regional accreditation approved by the US Department of Education. Unfortunately, some online colleges will say they are accredited by agencies that are in fact fake, in order to create an appearance of legitimacy. In some states, it can actually be illegal to use a degree from an institution that isn't accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency. If an institution says it's accredited, that's not good enough: you need to check up on the accrediting agency. As well, if the online college offers degrees, it should have been granted the authorization to award degrees by its State government.

    You can also look at whether a school or program has any memberships in, or endorsements by, professional associations which reflect certain standards of quality. For instance, the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a national organization committed to maintaining and promoting the quality of America's online higher education institutions.

    Recognized Regional Accrediting Agencies
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities


  • Institutional Accrediting Agencies Relevant to Online Colleges
    Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
    Established: 1955
    Location: Washington, DC
    Web: www.detc.org
    Scope: Accreditation of both public and private institutions offering degree and non-degree distance and online education nationally and internationally.

    Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
    Established: 1956
    Location: Washington, DC
    Web: www.acics.org
    Scope: Accreditation of US private postsecondary institutions offering certificates, diplomas, associate's, bachelor's, or master's degrees in professional, technical, or occupational programs including distance or online education.

    Some Program-Specific Accrediting Agencies
    Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET): Accredits university and college programs in engineering, applied science, computing and technology in the United States.

    The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP): Accredits bachelor's and associate's degrees in 20 health sciences occupations, such as cardiovascular technologist, medical sonographer, emergency medical technician/ paramedic, medical assistant, surgical technologist, respiratory therapist and more

    Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs in preparing effective nurses.
     



    Featured Schools

    Matching School Ads
    Georgetown University

    About Georgetown University
    Georgetown University is a private, not-for-profit, accredited university located in Washington, DC. Founded in 1789 by John Carroll, Georgetown is America's oldest Catholic and Jesuit University. Today, Georgetown is a major international research university. It has nine schools, an affiliated hospital and many highly-ranked graduate programs.Georgetown University Online

    Programs Offered:
    • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
    • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
    • And more...

     
    Nova Southeastern University
    Advanced Nursing Degrees at Nova Southeastern University – Offered Online!!
    Secure your career Change healthcare. Choose the best nursing program for you New technologies, New nursing responsibilities, New healthcare policies.
    There have been so many rapid changes within the healthcare field in recent years. The focus on evidence-based care is apparent. For instance, as of 2013, the American Nurses Association (ANA) requires 100% of nursing managers to hold a B.S.N. or higher to even qualify for their “Magnet” hospital designation. 
    Programs Offered:
    • DNP
    • RN-MSN - Nursing Informatics
    • MSN - Nursing Informatics
    • And more...

     
    Keiser University

    Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.

    Programs Offered:
    • Master of Science in Psychology
    • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
    • Associate of Arts in Accounting
    • And more...

     
    Abraham Lincoln University

    Earn your degree 100% online with the flexibility and affordability that an online education affords.

    Programs Offered:
    • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
    • Juris Doctor
    • Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
    • And more...

     
    Ashworth College
    Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.
    Programs Offered:
    • Payroll Clerk
    • Private Investigation
    • High School
    • And more...

     
    Wake Forest University
    Study at Wake Forest University, a university dedicated to educating the whole person since 1834.
    Programs Offered:
    • Master of Arts in Counseling - School Counseling
    • Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health

     
    Berkeley College

    The Berkeley Advantage®is part of a proven approach to career-focused education that can help students prepare for success.

    Programs Offered:
    • MBA-Management

     
    Claremont Graduate University

    Claremont Graduate University (CGU) has been awarding master’s and doctoral degrees for nearly 100 years. 

    Programs Offered:
    • Masters of Science in Evaluation & Applied Research
    • Masters of Science in Marketing Analytics

     
    Northeastern University - Online

    Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business is pleased to offer a 100% online MBA.

    Programs Offered:
    • Online Master of Science in Taxation
    • Online MBA
    • Online Master of Science in Finance

     
    Northcentral University
    • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
    Programs Offered:
    • International Business - D.B.A.
    • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
    • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
    • And more...

     
    Matching School Ads
      Universities and Colleges
    Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
    Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
    The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
    University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
    University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
    York University
    Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
    Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
    Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
    Music
    | Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
    Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
    Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
    Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Cities Site Map

    Copyright 2003- 2018 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.