As distance learning and online schools continue to become more popular and grow in enrollment rates and in the amount of schools, more individuals are taking to the convenience of online schools to fulfill their educational needs. And while distance education can offer students the same quality of education that traditional universities can, it is important for students to know that there still are factors and risks involved with enrolling with online colleges and universities. Accreditation of a school is extremely important when researching schools to attend and should be considered to avoid wasting time, money, and good job opportunities.
Accreditation ensures that the school you are interested in strives to provide its students with a quality education. Schools that are accredited have policies and procedures set in place to ensure that students are learning what it is they are supposed to learn to succeed. In addition, accreditation is a process that is voluntary on the school’s behalf, so schools that wish to become accredited contact accrediting agencies to be evaluated and awarded accreditation. The process involves the accrediting agency evaluating the school’s structure, policies, practices, and guidelines as well as curricula, training facilities, and staff. Once a school is awarded accreditation, it is temporary and accreditation must be renewed at set intervals, which is commonly set at every 5 or 10 years.
Accreditation not only helps to ensure that students are paying for and receiving a quality education, but it is also important for the professional and career world when it comes to landing a job. In fact, some employers will not hire individuals that have degrees from learning institutions that are not accredited. Having a degree from a school that is accredited ensures that students work hard for their degrees and that they completed the necessary work to earn their degrees. It also shows employers that students are qualified for the careers they are seeking and that they learned the necessary skills, concepts, and training needed to excel in the field.
Accreditation must be awarded by a legitimate accrediting agency. Accrediting agencies exist at the regional and national level and many online education sites list the legitimate accrediting agencies that are currently in existence. Accreditation should be an important factor when deciding on a learning institution, and research should be done in order to verify that schools are accredited when they say that they are. Accreditation guides are useful for those looking for more information on accreditation, as they serve as a legitimate means to find out more about the accreditation process and what it involves, what agencies are valid, how to spot fake agencies, and why accreditation is so important.