How to Find Accredited Online Schools
by Waller Jamison
One of the most important factors which should influence your
choice of online education degree is accreditation. It is essential that you apply to an accredited online
However, many colleges will say that they are accredited, but
have created their own form of accreditation which is not recognized elsewhere. So how can you be sure that your
prospective online education classes are run by properly accredited online schools?
The first step is to assess your long-term goals. What do you
hope your online education classes will equip you for? Do you intend to study for a master's degree or are you
planning to apply for a job in a particular profession?
If you have a definite career in mind, you should
contact the professional society which regulates the profession you hope to enter.
Ask them if they recognize the courses, both at first degree and
at master's level, you plan to do. Be sure that you also mention the name of the online university through which
you hope to gain the qualification.
If they don't know the college you mention, or don't have any
knowledge of the course, ask which courses and online universities they do recognize. No matter how good you might
think the syllabus, there is no point in gaining a university education online if it does not lead to your
This will not be as important if your future career just asks
for a degree, giving you plenty of scope in terms of subject and university. However, even if a general
qualification is all that is required, there may be stiff competition and so it's always advisable to get the best
education you can.
Here are some US based organizations that accredit online
SACS - Southern Association of Schools and
This body accredits schools and colleges in Latin America, as
well as the following
eleven state in the south of the United States:
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina,
South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Go to their website and click on the map to check colleges
for each state.
WASC Western Association of Schools and
This organization accredits schools in California, Hawaii,
Guam, American Samoa, Palau, Micronesia, Northern Marianas, Marshall Islands, and the Pacific
For senior colleges and universities, go to their website and
click on the directory icon in the top right hand corner. You can download a list of approved institutions in pdf
format. (You'll need Abode Reader for this, if it isn 't already on your computer you can get it free here
NEASC - New England Association of Schools and
Is responsible for accrediting colleges in:
Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East,
As well as the following regions of the US:
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
You'll find the post secondary colleges listed on their
NCA North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School
This is the body responsible for accrediting colleges in the
following list of states:
Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado,
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Navajo Nation, Nebraska,
New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio,
Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia,
Wisconsin and finally Wyoming.
The postsecondary section will give you details of approved
MSA - Middle States Association
Accredits schools in:
Europe, Central America, the Middle East.
and the following US states:
Delaware, District of Columbia,
Maryland, New Jersey, New York,
Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico,
U.S. Virgin Islands,
NWCCU Northwest Association of Schools and
This is the official body for accrediting schools
Alaska, Idaho, Montana,
Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
Degrees gained from schools validated by any of these bodies
will be considered equivalent to an offline university degree. They will be accepted by the majority of employers
and also by other universities should you wish to apply for post-graduate study.
Unless you are taking a degree for pure pleasure and don't
need the qualification or the extra money a good degree can bring in, you must make sure that your college course
is properly accredited, whether you attend a real-world university or an online university.
Whatever method of study
you choose and wherever you live, funding your course is likely to be a problem. For information on how to finance
your studies if you live in the US, UK or Australia go to: