Online education has become an important part of the education scenario. It has gained popularity across all the continents thereby giving birth to numerous online universities and educational institutions offering online courses. There also are established universities that offer online courses to students.
Just like a brand holds value, similarly a university with appropriate accreditation holds value in the eyes of the employers and higher education institutions. Thus, it is extremely necessary for prospective online learners to conduct a thorough research about the university and its accreditation before they take up their course.
Some Examples of accrediting bodies:
- British Accreditation Council,
- Open & Distance Learning Quality Council
- ASIC (Accreditation Service for International Schools Colleges and Universities)
- European Quality Improvement System (or EQUIS)
- Association of MBAs (AMBA)
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Understanding the value of accreditation
Accreditation is the quality assurance procedure that sets the standards that gives a university or school a certification for the quality of the services offered by the university. It is granted by the government of education, or selected non profit agencies such as British Accreditation Council. It evaluates the educational services and the operations of the educational institution.
Accredited educational institutions can assure the students efficient faculty, extensive library resources, inspiring numbers in terms of student achievements, and financial support. Accreditation also enables the institutions to get license to work in particular fields that require a licence for practicing them.
For a successful career it is important to choose a reputed college that has proper accreditation. Colleges and universities that are accredited are most likely to offer degrees and courses that the recruiters, employers and other educational institutions. They will understand by the students has been given quality education. Also, accreditation provides the students an enhanced chance to transfer its credits to reputable institutions, if they decide to pursue further education.
Accreditation for online educational institutions
The accreditation agencies consider online universities and traditional universities equal therefore the accreditation holds similar value. However it is important to be extra careful when opting for online programmes. This is to avoid ‘diploma mills’ that can deceive the students and provide degrees without imparting quality education.
However, it is not enough to check the accreditation of the university. It is vital to check if the accreditation agency itself is recognised. Due to the increasing popularity of online degrees and online universities there have been wide spread development of unrecognised, fake online colleges as well as accrediting bodies.
Those that undertake a course of a non accredited university end up earning a degree that is of no use as it is neither recognised by employers or educational institution.
Accredited universities offering online learning
The recognition of online universities by the accrediting agencies has resulted in already accredited universities offering online courses. Also, numerous government approved schools have begun offering online degrees.
Accreditation shows the employers and other higher education institutions that the degree they hold is earned from a university that imparts high quality education. It acts as a guarantee for them that they are hiring candidates that have been given the education required for a particular post. And, this also provides the students an assurance that they are entering reputed colleges that have been recognised by their prospective employers.