There has been a tremendous increase in the number of online colleges and universities available. This has led to a simultaneous increase in the number of education seekers opting for online education. There are some basic reasons as to why some people are preferring online education. Convenience and flexibility of time are the most common ones. But before students take up this path, they need to make sure that the university or college they opt for is accredited. A list of all accredited colleges is made available on various sources.
In the past the number of online colleges was limited to only a handful. The students had to confront far less diversity. Less diversity meant less chance of phony colleges. There are many educational institutes operating today that are not recognized by any sort of governing body. Universities and colleges do not require accreditation in order to operate but if they want their students to succeed in the job market then they have no choice. Such sub-par colleges pose a risk to education seekers and can hamper their future prospects.
Accreditation is sort of a license which ensures best quality education. Two types of accreditation are made: regional and national. There are accreditation bodies setup that evaluate various aspects of the educational institute. They check whether the institute is financially stable, has a comprehensive educational policy, meets certain standards for governance, keeps its students satisfied and has enough educational resources. The list of all accredited online colleges and universities that are certified by any one of the 19 agencies is put up on the internet. The official list is kept and published by the Department of Education. Law requires them to do so. Except for this, many private websites maintain their own lists and regularly update them. To make use of these lists, education seekers just need to visit one of such websites and on its database search for the name of the institute they want to study at. The website would then tell whether the respective online educational institute is accredited or not and if it is, then which agency accredited it. One will also get details like when the institute was first accredited and what is its current accreditation status. Sometimes the list might be a little outdated. In that case some of the newly accredited universities and colleges might not show up. So if the institute of your choice is unaccredited according to the list then it is advisable to contact the institute directly and confirm for yourself. This would remove all doubts.
Tips and comments
The lists have made the job of confirming the standards and reputation of online universities and colleges a much easier task. Enough stress can’t be put on the need for confirming the accreditation status of the institute one wants to get enrollment in. The process isn’t much harder than compared to, lets say, searching on Google. The list is there for everyone to use, hence, not taking advantage of it can be considered foolish.