With such a wide selection of online educational institutions to choose from, it’s important for students to ensure that their college of choice is one with proper accreditation. This refers to whether or not the college is recognized as an official college capable of giving out certified degrees. A degree from a non-accredited college holds no value.
Typically, a state organization is responsible for accrediting or certifying online schools. Different school associations exist for certifying colleges, and an online school can receive certification from multiple associations. While only one certification is required, multiple certifications show the school meets the various requirements for different school boards and is likely able to offer a wider range of majors to its students.
When evaluating a college for certification, the certifying organization has a set of regulations and requirements that the online school must meet. These requirements cover what general education classes the school must offer, what qualifications its professors must have, and what classes must be required for certain degrees. This ensures that online colleges only offer degrees that cover all the subjects a graduate will need to successfully gain employment in today’s workforce.
In addition to its major accreditation(s), an online university may have more specific sets for specific degree programs. Degrees in design or health care, for example, often have additional requirements. A degree without this certification will still be valid, but will limit the student’s job possibilities upon graduation. He or she may not be able to receive licensure or certification and can only work entry-level jobs in the desired field.
To check what accreditation(s) an online college has, visit the school’s website. Each school will list all certifying associations. The certifying associations for your state will also list the schools they have certified. If a school is on probation for violating any of the association’s regulations, it will be listed and the school will have a specific date that they must fix the issues by or, risk losing certification from that organization entirely.
Before deciding on an online college, ensure that you are choosing from only accredited online colleges. By verifying that your school is certified, you will ensure that you will earn a valuable degree from a college authorized to grant diplomas in the your field of study. Check if your specific area of study, such as medicine or business, has additional qualification requirements and that your college meets those in addition to its general qualifications. This extra verification helps you make sure you’re choosing the best online college for your educational needs and desires.