Regional Vs National Accreditation: Why Does It Matter
One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a college or university is whether or not your institution of choice is accredited nationally or regionally at the institutional level. The type of accreditation plays a role in areas that may impact you as both a student and after graduation .
Learn more about differences between national and regional institutional accreditation, why its important that your institution is accredited, and tips to help verify your college or universitys accreditation status.
What Does That Mean For Students
So does it matter? Even if youve never considered accreditation in your school/program search, its still an important feat to stick on the pro side of a pro/con list. But why?
Some industries want to hire students from accredited programs. Your future employer wants to be confident in their hiring decision, so knowing that a potential employee has a quality education , as well as a valuable and seasoned skill set, looks like a big gold star.
It can impact your ability to get federal financial aid. To apply for federal student aid or loans, you must be enrolled at an accredited institution.
Another positive to having an accredited degree comes up with the decision to pursue the next level of education. Your accredited credits have a much better chance of transferring over with you if you decide to keep going.
You have a lot of information to weigh as you make your college decision. While it probably wasnt something on your radar, the value of accreditation should be evaluated. Not all programs have accrediting bodies. But for those who do, accreditation means an outside organization who knows what to look for has deemed this program meets certain quality standards.
Lets meet back next week and well discuss the difference between accreditation and certification, so you know the right questions to ask when making your college decision!
The Basics Of School Accreditation
F and M international students must attend a Student and Exchange Visitor Program -certified institution. SEVP certification indicates that a school or program meets standards set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that make it eligible to accept F and M international students.
Although a school does not need to be accredited to receive SEVP certification , some opportunities may require that a students degree come from an accredited institution.
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The Consequences Of Attending A Non
The consequences of going to a non-accredited school will depend on the exact reason the student enrolls in a course or program. But generally speaking, if a student attends a school that’s not accredited, they will miss out on certain advantages and face the possibility of graduating with a degree, diploma or certificate that is practically worthless beyond any personal satisfaction the student may garner from the accomplishment.
- Will be ineligible to receive state or federal financial aid, including grants and loans.
- Will be ineligible to receive most private forms of financial aid, especially scholarships.
- May have employers disregard or simply ignore any academic credential that came from the unaccredited institution.
- Will be attending an educational institution that cannot receive any federal or state funding to help support the school.
- May not have the academic credits earned at the unaccredited school be accepted by another school when transferring or applying for admission.
- May open themselves up to the potential for criminal prosecution or civil liability for the unauthorized practice of a particular profession.
Increasing The Credibility Of Students
Attending an accredited university can also increase the credibility of students. The positive reputation associated with accredited institutions can benefit students. Employers may see students who attend these institutions as more credible, as they’ve met the educational standards of accredited institutions.
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What Is The Benefit Of Having An Accredited Degree In The Job Market
How will employers view an accredited degree versus a non-accredited degree?
The Benefits of Having a Degree
The benefits of having a degree in the job market are tremendous. Workers with an associate’s degree earn an average of 25% more than workers with only a high school diploma, and workers with a bachelor’s earn over 70% more. For many jobs, having a degree is necessary to be hired at all, or to be promoted beyond a certain level. The benefits of higher education are projected to increase in coming years.
The Importance of Being Accredited
However, it cannot be just any degree. Obtaining an accredited degree is absolutely essential if you hope to garner the career success you deserve. Accreditation is a process in which outside agencies evaluate a school’s programs to ensure that they meet applicable academic standards. Without accreditation, it is impossible for employers to know whether your diploma is from a legitimate institution or whether it is from a diploma millâa company that offers degrees in exchange for money and little academic work. Academic institutions are equally skeptical of degrees from non-accredited schools, so it can be extremely difficult to transfer credits from a non-accredited institution to an accredited one.
Knowing your Accreditation Agencies
Article Resources: Back To Top
New England Commission Of Higher Education
Currently, NECHE accredits more than 200 learning institutions across the globe. In the US, it accredits colleges and universities located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
NECHE traces its roots to the oldest regional accrediting organization in the US, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges , which was formed in 1885. NECHE, back in 2018, became a separate and independent entity from NEASC. These days, NEASC focuses on accrediting PK to Grade 12 schools.
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Check With The Us Department Of Education
Once you’ve identified which schools offer your desired major, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website. Then, use their accreditation tool to search for each school you’re interested in attending. If a school is recognized by one of the seven regional accrediting agencies, you can find it on the U.S. Department of Education’s list. This shows that the school meets CHEA’s minimum requirements.
Faq: What Are The Types Of Accreditation
With so many academic institutions offering degree programs, it can be challenging to select the one that’s the best fit to prepare you for your desired career. A great place to start your search is to look for accredited institutions that offer the major you want to pursue. Learning how to assess the accreditation status of different academic institutions can help you ensure you receive a quality education and help you develop the skills to be successful.
In this article, we explain what accreditation is, review the most common types, answer some frequently asked questions about this topic and provide step-by-step instructions to help you check the accreditation status of an organization.
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Huntington University Of Health Sciences
Huntington University of Health Sciences was established in the year 1985 as the former American Academy of Nutrition. This university is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and was created to provide online academic programs for individuals interested in earning an education in the study of nutrition. In 2018, it changed its name as it began offering other academic programs. The university is one of the several nationally accredited online colleges by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, and it is also a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Some of the various programs that are offered at Huntington University of Health Sciences are the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Master of Science in Nutrition, Associate of Science in Applied Nutrition, Doctor of Science in Integrative Healthcare, Diploma in Small Business Management, Diploma in Herbal Sciences, and more.
About Us. . Huntington University of Health Science. Retrieved from: https://www.huhs.edu/about-us/
All programs & degrees. . Huntington University of Health Sciences. Retrieved from: https://www.huhs.edu/nutrition-programs-degrees/
Transferring Between Regionally And Nationally
Over 27.2% of studentsroughly 1 in 4transfer to institutions outside of the state where they began their college journey. Some transfer while theyre still an undergraduate. Others decide to pursue a masters or doctoral degree at a different institution from where they earned their associates or bachelors degree.
If youre currently attending a regionally-accredited institution and planning to transfer, credits are easily transferred to other regionally-accredited institutions, even if your new institution is accredited by a different accrediting body than the one where you are currently enrolled. However, credits are often reviewed on a course-by-course basis or by a specific academic department to determine which credits will transfer.
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Sessions College For Professional Design
Sessions College for Professional Design is a private, for-profit college that was established in 1997. This college is located in Tempe, Arizona, and is known as one of the best accredited online colleges for aspiring artists and designers. Sessions College for Professional Design possesses a unique, international student body from over 90 different countries. The curriculum is delivered to these students through an online platform, and all programs are affordable, including affordable online mba programs readily accessible, and meet the educational standards for students to succeed. In addition, each course is project-based and provides hands-on experience that is relevant to the students career goals. A few of the degrees offered at this college are Associate of Science in Graphic Design, Associate of Science in Digital Media, Associate of Science in Advertising Design, Associate of Science in Web Design, Associate of Science in Digital Photography, and more. Upon graduation, students will have gained the necessary skills and tools to become creative assets to clients and businesses.
About sessions. . Sessions College for Professional Design. Retrieved from: https://www.sessions.edu/about-sessions/
Top 28 Nationally Accredited Online Colleges List
What Are The Different Types Of College Accreditation
Schools may receive national or regional accreditation. Regional accreditation typically applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions, while national accreditation applies to vocational, technical, faith-based, and for-profit institutions. Specialized or programmatic accreditation applies to individual departments or programs within a school.
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Look Into Programmatic Accreditation
Other than institutional accreditation, which is what we have been talking about all the while, there is also such a thing as programmatic accreditation.
As the name suggests, this type of accreditation is given to an academic program instead of the institution offering it a college can have both institutional accreditation and various programmatic accreditations.
Whats really nice about a program with programmatic accreditation is that it has undergone a rigorous review process and has met the accreditors standards.
Programs without programmatic accreditation are still legit, provided that they are from an accredited school.
To date, there are many different programmatic accrediting organizations that review academic programs offered by US colleges and universities. Some examples of CHEA-recognized include:
- Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education
- Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration
- Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
- American Council for Construction Education
- American Culinary Federation Education Foundation, Inc.
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
- Council on Chiropractic Education
- Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council
- National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
- Planning Accreditation Board
- Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System
You Can More Easily Transfer Credits
Transfer students should check that the school they’re transferring to will accept the academic credit they earned at their original institution. Learners who complete classes at an unaccredited institution may need to retake those courses if they decide to transfer to another institution.
While not all universities readily accept all credits earned from another accredited college, your chances of having them accepted are much higher than if you’d attended an unaccredited school.
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Visit The Colleges Website
Colleges and universities will do just about anything and everything they can in order to attract some of the brightest students out there.
One of the things that many of them do is brag about being accredited. And to make sure that no one will miss that fact, they usually say so on the homepage of their respective websites.
Sometimes, you may have to open the About Us page to find out about a schools accreditation status.
While youre at it, check out when was the last time its accreditor renewed its accreditation colleges have to ask their accreditors to conduct a review and renew their accreditation periodically.
What To Look For In An Online College
thebestschools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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How To Tell If A College Is Accredited
Colleges and universities often list their accreditors on their website. If learners are unable to locate accreditation information on an institution’s website, they can contact the school directly to learn more about their accreditation credentials. Students can also verify a school or program’s accreditation status through the CHEA website or the ED’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
With only a few exceptions, international institutions are not accredited by bodies recognized by CHEA or the ED. However, CHEA has established international quality principles to serve as guidelines for establishing a universal understanding of educational quality.
What Kind Of Accreditation Should A College Have For Specific Career Paths
Certain career fields or positions within an industry require specific skills and knowledge. Programmatic accrediting bodies ensure individual degree programs meet the most up-to-date standards and best practices of that discipline. For example, many top engineering firms or technology companies may look for graduates of ABET-accredited programs.
Here are a just a few examples of majors or career fields in which employers might require graduates from an accredited program:
- Actuarial Science
- Physician Assistant
- Public Health
Also, depending on your field of interest, you should also look into requirements for state or national board certification exams or even eligibility for membership in professional organizations an accredited program may be beneficial or necessary for your career growth. Finally, program-based accreditations may also matter for graduate school eligibility.
You can view the full list of recognized programmatic accrediting bodies at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website.
Prior to applying to a school and definitely before showing up to your first class or beginning an online degree make sure you know and understand that schools accreditation. Remember: All accredited colleges are not the same. While regional accreditation likely opens you up to more opportunities, the answer to what type of accreditation should a college have really hinges on your personal needs and career goals.
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Accrediting Bodies Are Private Agencies
This means that anyone is able to set up shop and say that they are an accrediting body. Luckily, it is pretty easy to determine legitimacy. Both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation , an organization that accredits accreditation agencies, and the U.S. Department of Education have lists of which accrediting bodies they recognize.
If you cant find the accrediting body that the institution you are looking into on one of these websites, you need to do more research into the institution to determine its reputation and credibility.
Is Online College Better Than Traditional College
For some students, the flexibility and convenience of online learning fits their needs better than in-person college. Working professionals and students balancing school with other responsibilities often prefer an online format. Learners can also attend top programs without having to relocate. Ultimately, though, it’s a matter of preference both formats can result in a quality education.
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A School That Fits Your Needs
Even the best online colleges might not offer the best fit for every student. Considering factors like program format, graduation requirements, transfer policies, and cost can help prospective enrollees identify the right fit for their unique needs.
Online program formats vary widely, and prospective students can often choose between fully online programs or hybrid options. An individual attending a local school may prefer some in-person classes, while others need courses to be fully online.
Similarly, online programs can include synchronous or asynchronous coursework. Synchronous means that classes meet at a set time on a regular schedule, while asynchronous means students complete requirements on their own schedules. The structure of set meetings benefits some students, while others particularly working students prefer the flexibility of asynchronous classes.
Finally, ask yourself: What graduation timeline fits your schedule? Do you want to complete your degree as soon as possible or at a slower pace? Online learners can typically enroll part-time, full-time, or at an accelerated pace, so you can choose the option that best fits your timeline.
It’s also important to consider whether the program requires an internship, lab courses, or practicum hours. If so, research how online learners meet these in-person requirements especially how the school supports distance learners.
What Kind Of Accreditation Should A College Have To Ensure Transferability Of Credits
When comparing accredited colleges or accredited online degrees, you should also think about your long-term career goals. For example, you might wish to earn an associate degree and, later, move on to a bachelors degree at a different school. Or maybe youre working toward your bachelors degree with the intention to eventually attend graduate school. Finally, perhaps you are likely to relocate at some point , but you want to start school now, knowing the move may also entail transferring schools.
In all of these scenarios, transferring credits most likely will come into play. As noted in the previous section, regionally accredited colleges typically only accept transfer credits from similar institutions. In other words, credits earned at a nationally accredited career or trade school may not be accepted at a traditional four-year college. Hoey says this often is because academic standards differ between the two. For this reason, he advises: there is some risk involved for students when choosing to attend a school with national accreditation. Simply put, ensuring transferability of credits can save you time and money.