When you are looking to further your education, there are many things that a perspective student needs to consider and college accreditation is one of them. While it is important no matter what college you are looking at it is even more important to ensure accreditation if you are looking at distance and online education programs.
The first step to ensuring that you pick a school and program that is right for you is to have a clear understanding of what college accreditation is and what it means. College accreditation is offered by third party councils and boards. There are a few things that go into obtaining an accreditation and depending on how the school does helps to determine the tier the school is placed.
Schools are tiered based on performance for example Ivy League schools are generally tier 1 schools. They consistently exceed the standards laid out for schools in educational offerings and quality. This ranking has to be earned and schools that rank high on the accreditation board’s listings are as a rule accepted by other schools and employers more readily.
Accreditation can be earned or lost and schools are regularly checked. Each area has an accreditation council or board that watches over schools in that area. It is also common for schools to be accredited by several different boards. Complaints are also filed with the accreditation board and are available for individuals to view.
Schools also receive a grading from the accreditation board; this grading is based on a number of factors. It is especially important when looking at distance education and online education programs.
One of the biggest issues that come from these types of programs is the label of a diploma mill. These are schools which form and offer trade school style education for people who are looking to complete their education. These educational programs can be part of a recognized university and this is where many people are caught in trap of a diploma mill.
The University is recognized but accreditation goes much further. Individual programs or schools within the university can also be recognized and accredited. When you are looking at a particular program, you will not only want to check the University but also the program that you want to join. This will ensure that you are not only choosing a university that meets the appropriate educational standards but that the program is also accredited.
You can also check to see if there have been any problems with the program or with the school, what they were and in many cases; the school is required to correct the issue within a certain period. A large number of issues or unresolved problems will result in downgrading and even the loss of accreditation.
Accreditation is the standard that every school needs to meet to be acknowledged
The quality of the education and the placement of the school within the accreditation board or council are important to ensuring that you receive a quality education that is going to serve you in the future.