The Distance Education and Training Council is one of the many institutions that provide accreditation for online and correspondence schools in the United States. It is a voluntary organization, meaning that a school’s leaders need not apply to be accredited through the organization. The number of online schools that have obtained legitimate accreditation through this organization is limited.
If you are concerned about the accreditation status of the online school that you are thinking of attending, your best resource is the US Department of Education.
Their database allows you to simply type in the name of the institution that you plan to attend, the city and state where the main facility is located and in moments, the website will tell you whether or not the school is accredited.
There are many fine online schools that are not accredited through the Distance Education and Training Council, but received their accreditation through other organizations.
For example, the University of Phoenix is a popular online educator. They are not present on the Distance Education & Training Council database, but according to the United States Dept of Education database, they have accreditation.
An institution accreditation indicates whether or not the qualification you obtain will be accepted by other schools. Employers may not look at these credentials, although they may ask you what school you attended.
If however you want to transfer to another school at some point, you need to be sure that the school you are thinking of attending is accredited. The majority of the well-known online colleges are appropriately accredited, although there are some exceptions.
If you intend on transferring credits to another school, it is a great idea to verify which credits they accept. Some of the institutions of higher learning are very “picky”. It’s not unusual for them to refuse to accept credits from a community college, whether accredited or not.
Accreditation also insures that you are receiving the quality of education that you are paying for. It shows that your teachers are well-trained, that your written materials are up to date and that previous students have not responded negatively to questionnaires and surveys. Without an accreditation process, you would have to carry out your own quality assurance checks.
The Distance Education and Training Council has a good review process and the organization was established many years ago.
Correspondence High Schools like Keystone and James Madison are accredited through their organization. This is helpful information for home-study students and others that cannot attend a conventional high school. Penn Foster is one of the colleges that are accredited through the organization, but of course, there are many others.
Distance learning, particularly online, is become increasingly popular. Because of this, there are some “fly-by-night” schools out there. Prior to paying your school fees, no matter how inexpensive it may be, you should verify the school’s accreditation status.
They may be accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council or another accrediting organization. Just be sure that they are qualified to train you in your desired field.