Online courses are a great alternative for busy adults. However, one major consideration when choosing and online school is accreditation. Is your online university accredited? Accreditation is the process of validating different colleges and universities. A peer review board that is comprised of faculty from other accredited universities determines the standards that are required of all institutions. They look at requirements for admissions, services, and quality of education. There are six agencies that deal with accreditation:
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
- North Central Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA)
- Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA)
- Southern Association of Schools and Colleges (SACS)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
- Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NWCCU).
If your potential program is accredited by one of these agencies, you can rest assured that your degree is legitimate, and employers and other universities will accept your degree for employment and future education. A good place to find whether your degree is accredited is on the institutions website. The information will generally be listed on the “about us” page. Be certain to look closely. Not all programs and colleges within the university may be accredited. If you have any questions, you can call one of the above accrediting agencies directly. Making sure your college or university is accredited will ensure that future employers will recognize all of your effort. It will ensure that the money you spend on your education is actually for your education, and not just a piece of paper.