Before you take any online class, you should learn more about accredited online universities. Accreditation is an approach to rank schools of higher education, both offline and online, to certify that they offer high quality learning. If a particular school has lax requirements for a student to graduate, they are less likely to get an accreditation. Essentially, an accreditation is the government’s method of quality control for universities and colleges.
Why Is Accreditation Important?
To succeed in your profession, you need to undergo proper training. It may be easier to get into an unaccredited college, but it is not a better route; you’ll end up with an incomplete education. Even though you have a degree, you will eventually show your lack of skill and knowledge. This will lead to you being frequently fired or, at worst, never getting employed.
Moreover, if you study in an online school that does not have accreditation, you may lose recognition from prospective employers. Most companies require candidates who have graduated from accredited degree programs. If your school has no proper credentials, your opportunities become limited. You won’t even be eligible for most kinds of financial aid.
Is Your Online School Accredited or Not?
Here are the tips to find out if your school is one of the accredited online universities today.
Check the school’s website.
The easiest place to check is the website of the school. A reputable online school will allot a section discussing its credentials including the agency that accredited it and the date it was accredited. Credible schools will not conceal these details; thus, if this info is nowhere to be found, you should be suspicious. Likewise, if an online school says it has accreditation but does not disclose who performed the actual accrediting, it should be another red flag.
Check the accrediting agency’s website.
An online school may site an accrediting agency but to ensure that the school is not lying, you should compare the school’s credentials with the accrediting agency’s website. You can also refer to the record of accredited schools by the U.S. Department of Education or USDE. Simply input the name of the school or the accrediting agency for verification.
Check from other credible databases.
College Navigator, a website run by USDE, is another good resource for checking the accreditation status of a school, program, and state. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation or CHEA, an organization of degree-granting schools that acknowledges accrediting agencies provides a list of schools accredited by U.S. accrediting agencies it has acknowledged. You’ll find the list of accredited online universities through their sites.
Check the legitimacy of the accreditation agency.
After determining your school’s accreditation, you also need to check if the accrediting organization itself is genuine. You may refer to the Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies List by USDE, as well as the database of acknowledged specialized and regional accrediting agencies online by CHEA. If you find the accreditation agency on either websites or both, it is legitimate.
Remember, it is in your best interest that you verify the credentials of the online school you’re planning to enroll in. Accreditation safeguards your investment and warrants piece of mind. Make sure to choose from accredited online universities to get a high-quality education and eventually fulfill your dream career.