Help! This is because, according to CHEA, 98% of all regionally accredited schools are degree granting. One type of online university accreditation is not necessarily “better” than another if you take “better” to mean “better academically.” However, there are real benefits to attending a regionally accredited online college versus a nationally accredited college. However, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently restored recognition for ACICS. So regional accreditors have processes for applying for “substantive changes.” These can include: That last case, of course, is becoming very common as the popularity of online education grows. Students who are considering an ACICS-accredited school should check with the school about their plans for accreditation. Regionally accredited programs all qualify for corporate tuition reimbursement, while nationally accredited schooling may not always have tuition benefits from employers. This is because of academic standards and differing courses of study. We are talking here about institutional accreditation, which all institutions of higher education should have. Get in touch to discuss building a plan that works for you. If you have credits from a nationally accredited school, it is almost certain that they will not transfer. These include things such as faculty qualifications, course content, and program quality. Every college has access to one of these six regional accrediting agencies, so no college, no matter how remote it might be, is unable to be regionally accredited because of its location. One other effect of accreditation is that it establishes the scope within which a college or university can operate. You can’t count on every credit transferring in all situations. Regional accreditation is granted by six different agencies who oversee institutions within a particular region of the US. This system of regional accreditation has several ripple effects: Ultimately, regional accreditation provides public assurance about the quality of institutions, and it provides a mechanism for the institutions to evaluate themselves and to improve. Which is better: regional accreditation vs. national accreditation? Each institution can decide whether or not to accept credits from similar classes. If you end up repeating classes, you will actually pay more in the long run. It can be difficult to repay loans after completing a program, but especially if you don’t complete the degree or program you have started. i need help this is really crucial. On the other hand, if you have done your homework and know that the career you want to pursue most readily employs people who have graduated from a specific type of career or technical college, then a regionally accredited 4-year liberal arts degree would just be overkill. The term “accredited” typically refers to regional accreditation. These national agencies have historically focused on approving career, vocational and trade schools. Nationally accredited schools are reviewed every 3-5 years to ensure that they still meet the requirements. As long as you understand the pros and cons, and make sure that the school you choose is accredited by an approved organization, then you are on the right track. The standards for national accreditation are less rigorous than regional accreditation, and national accreditation is considerably less useful when transferring schools. Wesleyan University and Jesuit colleges); by non-sectarian civic groups and philanthropists with the goal of improving their communities (e.g. Gonzalez sued Crown in 2004, as did a number of other disgruntled students. The truth? Most regionally accredited schools are non-profit, with academics as the primary focus. On the other hand, only 34.8% of nationally accredited schools grant degrees. Accreditation helps members of the public avoid scams like diploma mills or subpar instructional programs. When people ask if you have attended an “accredited university” in the United States, they commonly mean a regionally accredited university. But in a world where education almost always increase salaries, vocational education can also be a very smart move. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the US Department of Education (DOE) also recognizes a number of “national accreditation agencies.” These agencies are called “national agencies” because they aren’t organized by and limited to regional geographic areas. My career counselor told me national accreditation (like DETC) is not as good as attending a regionally accredited online college. That was a substantive change and, moreover, it depended on translating measurable competencies into equivalent units of credit hours. expanding beyond bachelor’s programs to grant master’s degrees or doctoral degrees for the first time; delivering services at satellite or branch campuses; cooperating to award degrees jointly with another institution; or. Accreditation is a voluntary process by which colleges demonstrate to each other, and sometimes to employers and licensing agencies, that their credits and degrees meet minimum standards.  Every college has the right to set standards and refuse to accept transfer credits.  However, if a student has gone to a nationally accredited school it may be particularly difficult to transfer credits (or even credit for a degree earned) if he or she then applies to a regionally a… All of the degrees in GetEducated’s database hold regional accreditation. Most were founded: One problem is that anyone could set up a school and call it a college or university. At the core, accreditation in higher ed is like in any other discipline or industry — a voluntary system of peer review of an institution according to established standards. See more. The difference between a "regionally accredited" and "nationally accredited" school is a very important one when choosing the institution you will attend. Those program-level evaluations often provide an additional indicator of high quality, but they are less universal, so the lack of a program-level accreditation by the relevant professional council doesn’t necessarily suggest a problem. (Source: CHEA) This is an important distinction if you’re hoping to earn a … For example, a congressionally appointed advisory board recently recommended ceasing recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), jeopardizing federal funding for the schools it evaluates. Accreditation is a process that ensures all schools and programs are held to the same high-quality standards. For example, a college may operate a continuing education program for retirees or a summer program for high school students that is highly valued in the community. The regional accrediting agencies are themselves evaluated by The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which ensures that dubious accrediting organizations don’t provide cover for diploma mills. As the U.S. doesn’t have a central ministry of education like many other countries, USDE empowered the regional accreditors to make those assessments. Nationally accredited online colleges score “better” on some criteria—affordability and ease of admission, most notably. The same thing happened in higher ed when colleges and universities began to want a way to indicate institutional stability, good governance and a process for self-evaluation and improvement. Those agencies manage the regional accreditation process for all institutions of higher education that volunteer to participate. Most regional accreditation involves 2 major phases: a self-study every 10 years and an interim report after 5 years. However, because regional accreditation is focused on primarily academic institutions, the criteria for recognition are often more stringent. Exactly? Everything you need to understand what colleges mean when they refer to their regional accreditation. On the other hand, the average cost for a nationally accredited online MBA is only $12,700. A professional license in fields such as nursing or teaching usually requires a degree from a regionally accredited school. The U.S Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education, also known as OPE, has a database with all the accredited institutions in the country. She eventually won the suit. What does regionally mean? It shouldn’t be confused with other systems of program-level accreditations that may look, for example, at the quality of a nursing program or a school of business. For example, Southern New Hampshire University, like over 200 other colleges and universities in the northeast United States, is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). When choosing which school to attend, it's important to find a college or university that is accredited. In higher ed, the groups that first did this were organized regionally, evolving into the system of regional accreditation we have today. Well, there are some regionally accredited colleges or universities that will make exceptions for nationally-accredited credits or degrees. They also are more likely to require standardized admission exams, such as the SAT, GRE or GMAT. See more. Regional accreditation means that a college degree program has been assessed and determined to meet educational standards and public expectations. Because of the specialized focus, the requirements to earn a certificate or degree from a nationally accredited school are not as standardized as a regionally accredited school. You may have to start at the beginning of the program, taking you longer and costing you more to complete your bachelor’s degree than if you could have transferred at least some of your credits. Regionally accredited colleges are mostly academically oriented, non-profit or state-owned institutions. There are six regional accrediting agencies in the US. Likewise, they may put a conditional or probationary status on the accreditation if the school isn’t meeting the standards. Regionally accredited schools are the most widely accepted and also have the potential for tuition reimbursement (which national accreditation does not). In some instances, these may be colleges that have earned regional accreditation but which operate using a for-profit model. One of the biggest differences between national and regional accreditation is in how easily student credits transfer. Educational institutions are either regionally or nationally accredited. An accredited degree meets certain quality standards, which are honored by other reputable institutions and organizations. The 7 regional accreditors became more important with the passage of The Higher Education Act of 1965. But it is actually a very important factor in choosing a program that will set you up well for goals for the future. But both nationally and regionally accredited schools qualify. Let’s say that you decide for now to get an associate’s degree from a nationally accredited school. The regional accrediting agencies are so-called because these organizations accredit only … The vast majority of institutions accredited by these regional agencies are either nonprofit or public schools, but not exclusively. So if I were to go to a community college in Michigan (for 2 years) then go to University of Tampa (for the other 2 years), would my credits from MI … Each school may also offer students some type of discount, grant, or scholarship, so as you are considering the affordability of programs, remember that many schools, especially public and private non-profit colleges and universities, can offer very good financial aid packages to students who need assistance. Cost can be an important deciding factor. When choosing a degree program, accreditation should be a top priority. This is one area where there is essentially no difference in the availability of financial aid. If a university is “accredited,” it means a group of experts took time to evaluate its operation system and that it meets the needed standard to be called granted an accreditation. Each stage involves extensive evaluation and reporting by internal working groups of faculty and other stakeholders that consider the standards above, as well as site visits by outside evaluators. What Does Regional Accreditation Mean? The three most popular “national” college accreditation agencies recognized by CHEA are: Other national accreditation agencies include: CONSUMER ALERT: The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) had its recognition to issue national accreditation withdrawn by the Department of Education in 2016. Additionally, there is subject accreditation. Or suppose they want to innovate by awarding associate degrees. Regionally definition is - on a regional basis. A school stakes out its own mission, student profile, breadth of offerings and instructional modes, and the accreditation is for that stated scope. What does a “regionally accredited” college mean? There’s often a question regarding regional vs. national accreditation. Not all online schools are regionally accredited—though the vast majority are. Nor was there any common standard for what a degree indicated. She’s still working at McDonald’s, but her role is a whole lot different thanks to her hard work and the degrees from SNHU. Public and nonprofit private schools are almost all regionally accredited, while trade, career, and for-profit schools are usually nationally accredited. Or by co-locating with a community college to award joint degrees. Requirements are not as standardized as regional accreditation because of the specialized nonacademic focus. Will my degree be accepted by employers? Regionally accredited colleges score “better” on other dimensions, such as academic reputation, transfer of credit, and the widest possible acceptance by other universities. Nor should regional accreditation be confused with the system of national accreditors that developed originally to evaluate correspondence course schools, multi-campus trade schools and other institutions that were less geographically defined. Regional accreditation is highly regarded around the world because it is a comprehensive, peer-reviewed process that ensures a consistent standard of quality for higher education institutions. This means that no matter where you go to school, or whether you attend an onlineor on-campus program, there are certain criteria that must be met. After a series of challenging life events, Sullivan enrolled in the BS in Health Information Management program at SNHU. According to a study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 38% of students will transfer to another school at some point within six years of beginning post-secondary education. Nationally accredited schools are generally profit oriented or religion affiliated and offer vocational or technical programs. And does it really make any difference? And it gets even more confusing if a college refers to something else, such as “nationally accredited.”. Schools typically indicate if and how they are accredited on their websites. State governments, foundations and other funders typically only make grants and scholarships to regionally accredited colleges and universities or to students and researchers affiliated with them. But when Gonzalez later attempted to transfer her coursework from Crown to Gonzaga, she was told by Gonzaga that it would not recognize credits earned from ACCSCT-accredited colleges. Don’t discount a more expensive school you like until you speak find out about possible financial aid. The accrediting agency may note issues of special attention that will get a closer look at that time. Or suppose independent campuses within a state system want to merge. Regionally accredited schools will often only accept transfer credits from other regionally accredited schools. Regionally accredited colleges score “better” on other dimensions, such as academic reputation, transfer of credit, and the widest possible acceptance by other universities. One example of this in action is when SNHU designed and launched College for America, an online competency-based degree program that doesn’t use a traditional course schedule based on credit hours. Ideally, this letter will indicate that no other evaluation is needed during the next 5-year period. Recent Examples on the Web OmniFoods is currently expanding its offerings regionally, beginning in Singapore and China. That would be a waste of money. They are somewhat different at each agency, though they are similar enough that they are all recognized by USDE, and students can generally transfer credits from one institution to another across regions. The average number of credits lost when transferring schools was 13, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics. There are also many regionally accredited online colleges. If you are fairly sure you will not want to get another degree later, then a nationally accredited school can offer you a great cost savings. But what if a school wishes to change or expand its scope as student needs, community needs or financial conditions change? Idea in brief: Eventually, colleges and universities within a region began to form their own accrediting agencies that evaluated members by an agreed-on set of standards. This is largely because regional accreditation has been around the longest and is the most common type of accreditation. Anyone who has considered attending a U.S. college or university has probably seen that most refer to themselves in some way as accredited, often “regionally accredited.”, But few of us know what that means, why it’s important or how the accreditation process works. In 2001, a 23-year-old woman, Latesha Gonzalez, enrolled with Crown College in Tacoma, Wash. At the time, Crown College was accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). A professional license in fields such as nursing or teaching usually requires a degree from a regionally accredited school. A student’s grade in the course may not be high enough or the course might be too different from the required course at their institution. For students who transfer from a for-profit school, which is also more likely to be nationally rather than regionally ac credited, the credits lost ranged from 17-25. Accredited definition, officially recognized as meeting the essential requirements, as of academic excellence: accredited schools. For example, suppose the most recent evaluation is based on a college providing high-quality bachelor’s degrees but the college later sees a need for more certificate programs. Just a year after she decided to go back to school, Shereka Johnson-Bean ’20 is preparing to submit the final project for her bachelor’s degree. Federal financial aid such as grants and federally-backed student loans are only available if you go to an institution accredited by an organization recognized by the US Department of Education. Regional accreditation is the educational accreditation of schools, colleges, and universities in the United States by one of seven regional accrediting agencies. If you do take out student loans as part of your financial plan to attend school, consider the type of loan carefully. Seven of these regional accreditors survive today. 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