Accredited online colleges - how accreditation affects your career
There are many institutions out there ready to take your hard-earned dollars. Jut because the word college is part of its name does not mean you are getting a degree that is legitimate to an employer or acceptable to another school. Quick claim degrees can be just as expensive as going to a legitimate school, probably more. Diploma mills have a strong hold on the internet education industry, when you are looking at an online degree you need to be diligent to make sure you are not enrolling in a school that is not accredited by a recognized authority.
Long before online learning existed, there have been businesses set up that call themselves higher learning institutions, but do not meet the recognized standard. When a school or institution has an accreditation, it means it is certified to meet standards and practices of a recognized quality. Accredited online colleges are held to the same standards as traditional brick and mortar institutions. This means you know you are not enrolling in a diploma mill, but enrolling in a quality education program.
If you investing in an education, you are probably like most people and doing it to land a good job and financial stability, not just for the enjoyment learning something new. Employers want to know more than you have a bachelors degree, they want to know from where. In many fields your degree will mean nothing if it is not from a credible school. Imagine an engineering degree with little or no math requirements. Employers cannot afford to hire someone with a phony degree. Companies screen for bad degrees training Human Resources departments to scrutinized job candidate resumes. Prospects with questionable degrees never make it to the interview process.
To ensure the online programs you are looking at are with properly accredited colleges, check out the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Each maintains databases listing the agencies that accredit online universities. These are usually regional like The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). NEASC monitors and certifies public and private institutions of higher learning for the New England Region. If the school you want to enroll in is located in New England, NEASC has it on record if it is certified.
Accredited online colleges can be a great choice for higher education. Be smart. Check with CHEA to see if it is legitimately accredited.