One thing that you will hear a lot about is accreditation. This term sounds fancy and important, but really it is quite simple. The WorldNet Dictionary says that accreditation is,
“The act of granting credit or recognition, especially with respect to educational institutions that maintains suitable standards.”
This really does sum up what you need to know.
What does this have to do with you and your E Degree? It is quite simple. You need to enroll in a college or university that is going to provide you with the highest level of education for your money. When you get your degree, you should know that you have what it takes to make it in that field.
Not only will employers want to insure that your education has come from an accredited school, but you need to know how to do your job well.
What is Accreditation?
What does it take for a school to be accredited? Why is this type of school better? An accredited school is one that has demonstrated that it is teaching what is required to educate students in that field. Schools will need to have an outside company come in and observe their school. They are looking for the board to decide that the school is approved for teaching the highest quality of information.
They will find out things like how the school provides education, what their resources are like (are they adequate) as well as determine if the school provides basic educational services that meet the demands and the minimums that are in place.
There are several different ways that a school can be accredited. Most of the time, the school will entirely be accredited, meaning that all of their courses are considered approved. In other cases, just certain schools within the college or the university are accredited. When you are applying for admission into the school, you should insure that it is fully accredited.
For any school to become accredited, they will need to pay a considerable amount of money to do so. In addition, the process is not easy nor is it everlasting. The school is going to need to be recertified as accredited every several years. In addition, the accreditation process can take several years to complete.
Why does any of this matter to you? A school that is accredited is one that has gone through great lengths to insure that you are provided a good education by attending there. A school that goes through all of this expense and time is a means of showing that the education they provide is effective in the field.
Beware Of Non Accredited Schools
We have all seen the ads.
“You can get your bachelors degree in just 30 days!”
“You can become an MD in just 6 months and four easy payments of just $199 each!”
These are schools that you need to stay away from. Short and sweet, just stay away from them.
There is no way that these companies can offer you the full fledged education that you will need to get the job or the career that you are after. You can even call these companies diploma mills because all they are doing is writing out some type of diploma and mailing them out after your final payment has been mailed.
Sure, they may make it look like you are learning something, but their degree is not going to stand up in the real work place. Each day, people get taken by these scams and unfortunately lose their money.
The sad part is that employers are not dumb. They know completely which schools are accredited and which are holding your resume down.
Not All of them are Bad
It would not be fair for us to say that all schools that do not hold accreditation are bad schools. This is in fact untrue. There are several reasons for this. For example, an accredited school will get their accreditation from a private organization. In the United States, many of these organizations are not regulated and, therefore, their standards may be quite different.
On the other hand, some schools just do not pursue accreditation. In fact, this is very much true of schools that have religious affiliations. Here, the simple fact that the accreditation process is very costly can cause the school to lose a good amount of money.
On top of these things, it takes several years for a school to become accredited. New schools may even have the latest advancements in technology, be fully staffed and provide cutting edge training and education but not be accredited. They could be in the middle of it or may not even be pursuing it.
What To Do As A Student
As a student, then, what are you to do? When it comes to finding out if a school is worth the cost, you should take into consideration accreditation. But, you should do so knowing a few things.
First, realize that accreditation is done for online schools just as it is done by those in traditional form. Some of the standards may not fit well. Nevertheless, ask questions. Find out if the school is accredited and who has done the accreditation. The online accreditation organization is that of The Distance Education and Training Council. Yet, some are being accredited by the standard accreditation organizations as well.
In either case, ask these questions.
- Is the school entirely or specific schools within it accredited?
- If not, is the school in the process of getting their accreditation at this point?
- If not, why not?
- If the school is accredited, take a few minutes to verify which organization accredited the school.
- Is this organization legitimate? You can find this information rather easily on the web just by looking at the Better Business Bureau or doing a search.
- If the school is not accredited or in the process of getting it, find out if they were turned down. If so, find out why?
Why go through this trouble? It is quite simple. Your degree, your education and your funding is going towards that E Degree. You deserve to make the best decision possible and you can only do this with all the information in hand.
Taking accreditation seriously is important. Getting these answers is essential. With so many bad apples on the web looking to take your money, you do need to know what you are investing in as well as what it will get you.
Finally, the bottom line is that you should take into consideration this fact.
If it is too good to be true, it probably is.
Before you begin learning, learn about your school’s ability to provide for you.
Major Accrediting Commissions
To learn more about accreditation, the processes and what is included in this certification, contact any of the major accrediting commissions located throughout the US. Here are 6 of the major commissions to contact.
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- North Central Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities
You can contact the commission that handles online accreditation with your questions about specific E Degree schools. The Distance Education And Training Council
Or, contact the governmental organization that helps to provide this information.
Visit the U.S. Department of Education