What Is School Accreditation?
In general terms, accreditation is the means by which a school
is officially recognized as a provider of a satisfactory
education that public institutions (i.e. employers) can trust.
It is a voluntary process that requires the school to meet
minimum requirements that are established by various regional
The lack of one official accrediting agency creates an
opportunity for sub par online schools that are trying to obtain
students through any means possible. In other words, just about
any organization can say that they are an accrediting agency, so
potential online school enrollers should do their research
before signing up for classes at a particular online school.
Sadly, a number of online schools create false accrediting
agencies in order to make candidates think that they are
trustworthy and established. To avoid this conflict, be sure to
check whether or not an online school is accredited by one of
the six major regional accrediting agencies. These include the
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), North
Central Association of Schools and Colleges (NCA), Middle States
Association of Schools and Colleges (MSA), Southern Association
of Schools and Colleges (SACS), Western Association of Schools
and Colleges (WASC), and the Northwest Association of Schools
and Colleges (NWCCU).
If your online school is accredited by one of the above
agencies, your degree will be seen as legitimate by most
employers. However, if your online school is not accredited by
one of the above agencies but by a false accrediting agency,
your degree may not be acceptable to most employers.