As an online student, it is essential that you pursue your degree from a college that has accreditation credentials. By studying with an accredited college, you can be sure that the education you’ll receive is of a high quality. You will also have the assurance that your completed degree will be accepted and respected by educational institutions, employers, and more. These are the basics of college accreditation, but did you know that there are different types of accreditation? That’s right, there is regional accreditation, national accreditation, and even specialized accreditation. Read on, and you’ll learn more about what it means to be nationally accredited, and how you can do your research to find a nationally accredited online college.
The idea behind nationally accredited institutions is simple-any college with these credentials is accredited to grant degrees that are recognized in educational institutions nationwide. In order to become nationally accredited, schools are required to undergo a review by an accrediting agency. These agencies will assess the level of quality found in the school, taking a look at programs, learning tools, and methods of education. By doing so, they can ensure that any school they offer accreditation to will provide students with a good education. The accreditation process is the same for both regionally and nationally accredited college. Of course, regional accreditation is granted by regional accreditation agencies, and national accreditation is granted by national accreditation agencies.
Although online colleges are technically not in any particular place, they can be accredited based on the location where their administrative presence is based. There are both regionally and nationally accredited online colleges, however, online colleges are accredited by the same agencies and in the same process as traditional colleges are. With this in mind, you can be sure that any nationally accredited online college can offer you the same quality and promise of credential acceptance that you can find in a brick and mortar institution.
Regional and national accreditation is quite similar, but there are two important differences. First, a major consideration is price. Nationally accredited institutions tend to be more expensive than regionally accredited colleges. Often, regionally accredited colleges are state schools or community colleges, while nationally accredited institutions tend to be universities and larger schools. Second, nationally accredited colleges enjoy great freedom in the transfer of credits, while regional institutions have some restrictions. Nationally accredited schools will accept credits from both nationally and regionally accredited colleges, but regionally accredited institutions usually only honor transfers from regionally accredited schools. This is something to keep in mind if you may be transferring to a different institution.
As you are looking for a nationally accredited college, it’s important that you investigate whether or not your institution offers accredited degrees, and to verify that they have the proper accreditation credentials. You can research schools and accreditation agencies through the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Some relevant accreditation agencies you may want to research include the Distance Education and Training Council, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, and the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training.