With the rapid proliferation of both online and off line schools that offer advanced degree programs, it is more important than ever that you choose a fully accredited school in order to get the best education possible. So let's discuss what accreditation is, how you benefit from it, and how you can use it to select the best online schools and degree programs.
First of all, there's a need to understand the accreditation process. For a school to be legitimately accredited means that it has been validated by a peer review process and found to be providing a high quality education according to accepted established educational standards. In other countries, schools are often accredited by some form of government agency. However in the US, these evaluations are made by private accrediting agencies instead, many of which are regional in nature.
So when you are comparing online degree programs, accreditation is perhaps the first and foremost issue that you want to address. For an online college or university to be accredited means that you will have all the tools at your disposal that are necessary to help you get a high quality education in the field that you are pursuing. And since the accreditation is awarded according to established educational standards, if you have to transfer from that school to another accredited school later on, all of the credits that you have earned up to that point should be able to transfer along with you without your having to repeat courses that you have already covered.
So why is accreditation so important? Simply put, there are a lot of generally worthless college degree scams commonly known as diploma mills set up to take students hard earned money and give them very little quality education in return. Even though you may get an online degree from one of these schools that are not accredited, it will most likely do you very little good when it comes time to try to get employment in that particular field as the quality of the education that you have received cannot be verified or validated.
So obviously then, it's vital to make sure that any online degree program that you consider is a fully accredited school that offers a high quality education in the field of your pursuit. But how do you make sure that is an accredited school? Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to verify accreditation for any particular school is to go to the web site for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or CHEA. This agency is not affiliated with the government, but helps coordinate research on accreditation issues. So all you have to do is enter the name of the school that you wish to research and see if it comes up as having been accredited by a reliable accrediting agency. If a school or online degree program is found to not be accredited by a reliable agency, it's usually best to avoid it at all costs.
Hopefully the information in this article will help you understand how imported accreditation is in the education field, and how you can protect yourself by making sure that the online college or university that you choose is fully accredited and validated.
Steadman Issenburg writes on many consumer related topics including education. You can find online accredited degree programs and accredited distance learning programs and more by visiting our education website.