Accredited Online Colleges and Degrees

by Salary.com Staff - March 22, 2012
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With the growth of accredited colleges that offer online accredited degrees, starting or finally finishing a college degree could be a breeze. Before selecting an accredited online university, there are some important steps to take for ensuring educational success.

Accredited colleges are schools that receive the stamp of approval from education boards. These boards carefully scrutinize to determine if the programs and policies meet specific criteria. If the school fulfills the minimum criteria, it then can market itself as an accredited online college.

The 6 approved accreditation organizations

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement
  • Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Southern Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges

The Distance Learning Training Council has also been approved to appoint online colleges with a national accreditation. Be wary, as many regional accredited online colleges do not accept credits from national accredited colleges.

Look for colleges online that are regionally accredited, as this is considered to be the most widely accepted form of accreditation used in the United States. It is important to select only accredited online universities. This protects students from schools “selling” fraudulent degrees. Having this guarantee on the accredited college’s level of quality will help to avoid diploma mills where students receive a useless piece of paper after spending thousands of dollars. Another reason to get an accredited online college degree over one that is not accredited is that employers or another university will more likely accept it as valid proof of a solid educational experience.

To find leading schools, many online directories list fully accredited online colleges. Additionally, the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation have resources that help students find top accredited online schools.

Take the time to do the homework on the accredited colleges you are considering for an accredited online college degree. This includes doing research on the courses being offered at each school, the professors’ experience, length of time that the school has been established, the enrollment and diploma rate, and whether or not there are quantitative results on where students have found employment after getting their accredited online degrees.

Scan the Internet for other students that attend a particular accredited online college and find out what success they have achieved with their online accredited degrees. Lastly, be sure to use common sense. While it would be ideal to get a degree in a matter of weeks or months, there are no fully accredited online degreesthat can be achieved in such short of a time. All of this information is important in helping students make the right decision about their future success.

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