Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

Accredited, or Not Accredited - That Is The Question

If the school you select to enroll in is accredited from a recognized accreditation organization you can be assured you are getting a quality degree.
The school will offer you the courses as advertised.
Employers can easily check to make sure your degree is authentic.
Should you elect to go on for further education later you wouldn't be automatically rejected because your previously earned degree came from a school that isn't accredited.
Schools want to be accredited.
It is a measure of their excellence and attracts serious prospective students, not to mention accreditation makes them attractive targets for sponsorship from benefactors, like big industry.
Accreditation is done by an outside, independent agency.
Such agencies should be nationally recognized.
They compare all of the elements of the school (services, courses, faculty and administration) against standards of performance and quality.
Once earned, the accreditation is on-going.
The learning institution must to be measured in terms of continued improvement.
It is kind of a continuing education program for educators.
In the United States accreditation can be performed by private agencies.
These same agencies actually develop the standards that educational institutions will be measured against.
They also develop protocols for conducting the accreditation process.
Accreditation agencies may perform accreditation on an entire institution, or on particular programs.
Programmatic accreditation is for specific programs offered by an institution that already has an institutional accreditation.
Agencies perform accreditation on colleges and universities no matter if they are private schools or public.
In addition they accredit schools called "single-purpose" institutions.
This type of school focuses on one type of educational field, not a variety of degree and certificate programs like a typical university.
Currently there are six regional agencies in the United States performing accreditation.
The accreditation process begins with the school performing a self-evaluation, based on the standards set by the accreditation agency.
This part of the evaluation process includes contributions by administration, instructors and students.
This is followed by a site inspection by a peer group.
Based on those elements a board of the agency makes a decision on the accreditation.
The institution then must report annually on changes and demonstrations of progress.
You can check out the authenticity of an accreditation organization by going to the U.
Department of Education (USDE) website for a list of the agencies recognized as reliable by the USDE.
If what you are looking for does not appear on the USDE list, check out the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
CHEA is a private organization.
It exists to represent and promote voluntary accreditation.
CHEA's website also has a list of agencies they recognize.
Finding your school is accredited by a credible agency is important to make sure your efforts (money and time) are properly rewarded.
There are many illegal entities out there that will provide you a degree in exchange for money.
Sometimes they will actually require study and have you take exams, sometimes they don't' even require that.
The Internet has a huge number of legitimate educational opportunities for the "working adult" or others who may find it difficult to attend traditional classes.
The down side is the Internet has also provided an expressway for illegal entities commonly known as "diploma mills".
It is often very difficult to determine what is and what is not a diploma mill.
They often look very authentic.
They may even claim accreditation, but the accreditation is either non-existent - or awarded by some agency that is itself not authentic.
Check with your state education agency or the Education USA Advising Center for a currently known list of diploma mills.
For additional information on this topic do a web search for subjects such as: o Diploma Mills o Fake-Degrees o Federal Trade Commission

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