She eventually won the suit. If a school you are considering is not institutionally accredited, that is a serious red flag. Regionally accredited schools will often only accept transfer credits from other regionally accredited schools. Why accreditation is important: One of the most popular forms of accreditation in the US is the Regional Accreditation. The regional accrediting agencies are so-called because these organizations accredit only … As the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) developed financial aid programs, it needed to ensure students were spending that aid at quality institutions rather than at diploma mills. My career counselor told me national accreditation (like DETC) is not as good as attending a regionally accredited online college. Regionally accredited colleges are mostly academically oriented, non-profit or state-owned institutions. Does it matter? Regionally accredited colleges score “better” on other dimensions, such as academic reputation, transfer of credit, and the widest possible acceptance by other universities. Regional accreditation considers the institution as a whole. If you end up repeating classes, you will actually pay more in the long run. Seven of these regional accreditors survive today. 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. Certain degree programs also need programmatic accreditation specific to their content. 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. Search the database here: GetEducated.com is a consumer group that publishes online college rankings and online university ratings along the dimensions that matter most to online students themselves: affordability and credibility. Vanderbilt University, Emory University or Chicago University); or. 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. Each of these kinds of decisions can often be found in the regional accreditors’ public notices. If you are looking at a more technical or vocational subject of study, then a nationally accredited school may have the best programs for you. 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. For example, in a summary of its standards, NECHE says an accredited college or university: To evaluate that, NECHE considers standards related to planning, governance, financial and infrastructure resources, design of the academic programs, student support, faculty support, learning outcomes and transparency. The list below reveals the six regional accreditation agencies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (www.chea.org) and the U.S. Department of Education (www.ed.gov): Programmatic accreditation would be in addition to institutional accreditation, and not all fields of study require programmatic accreditation. In the United States, there are six primary regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education accreditation. Regionally accredited institutions are reluctant to accept transfer credits from nationally accredited institutions, mainly because the latter hasn’t met the stringent standards of faculty qualifications and library resources. 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. Many growing industries mature to a point where a group of industry leaders, concerned about less-scrupulous entrants into their market, band together to establish an independent body that will hold them to high standards. The standards for national accreditation are less rigorous than regional accreditation, and national accreditation is considerably less useful when transferring schools. All of the degrees in GetEducated’s database hold regional accreditation. The nationally accredited vocational program is the right choice to qualify you to work in that trade. This may make it difficult to gain admission to a regionally accredited program, if: 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. One should also check to see if there are any specialized accreditations. The upshot is that there is a big difference between the two types of accreditation, and it will absolutely affect your future career and education, and therefore, the trajectory of your life. However, if the first school you go to has regional accreditation, it is likely that some or all of your credits would transfer to either a regionally or nationally accredited program. Likewise, they may put a conditional or probationary status on the accreditation if the school isn’t meeting the standards. Public and nonprofit private schools are almost all regionally accredited, while trade, career, and for-profit schools are usually nationally accredited. Help! Let’s say that you decide for now to get an associate’s degree from a nationally accredited school. If you are transferring from one nationally accredited program to another, you credits would also likely transfer. These credits are likely to transfer: These credits almost never will transfer: Not all classes will transfer, no matter where they are from. The truth? 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. with the charter of a state legislature in the case of public colleges and universities; by the trustees of a church (e.g. During the late 1800s, the number of colleges in the U.S. began to grow dramatically. 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. “Regional accreditation is the gold standard in accreditation,” says Hoey. Which is better: regional accreditation vs. national accreditation? Schools typically indicate if and how they are accredited on their websites. Your education may have more cache and offer more flexibility for future academic attainment if you choose a regionally accredited program. 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. Regionally definition is - on a regional basis. Regionally accredited colleges score “better” on other dimensions, such as academic reputation, transfer of credit, and the widest possible acceptance by other universities. College and university students who complete coursework at regionally accredited colleges and universities typically find that their coursework more easily transfers to other schools. These are rarely among the most reputable or selective colleges. 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). These include things such as faculty qualifications, course content, and program quality. Accreditation means that a school has been evaluated by education authorities, to ensure it's offering high quality learning opportunities, be it regional accreditation, national accreditation, or specialized accreditation. by entrepreneurs in the case of for-profit colleges. For-profit schools can seek and win regional accreditation, and some do, though most work through national accreditors.  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… An example of programmatic accreditation would be nursing programs that would be approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Regional accreditation means just what it sounds like it means: the college has been accredited by an association in its geographic region. 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 transfer?? What is it? Meaning of regionally. They are accredited by the association that covers the area where their hom… Exactly? Regionally accredited higher education institutions are predominantly academically oriented, non-profit institutions. This is largely because regional accreditation has been around the longest and is the most common type of accreditation. But if the program doesn’t award credit or take federal financial aid dollars, it wouldn’t have any bearing on accreditation. 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. 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. Three years later, you decide you want to continue your education to get a bachelor’s degree at your local public university. CONSUMER ALERT: Rising costs of education have resulted in many students taking out very high dollar amounts in student loans. Regionally accredited programs all qualify for corporate tuition reimbursement, while nationally accredited schooling may not always have tuition benefits from employers. Or suppose independent campuses within a state system want to merge. Which is Best, National Accreditation or Regional Accreditation? So, while the regional accreditation system is designed in part to ensure stability, it also is designed to promote reflection and quality improvement. Is there something special about regional accreditation that makes it so important? In some instances, these may be colleges that have earned regional accreditation but which operate using a for-profit model. Different agencies decide on whether they would like to accredit a school or not. The courts have ordered that ACICS be temporarily reinstated pending the outcome of a review. Or by co-locating with a community college to award joint degrees. Regional definition, of or relating to a region of considerable extent; not merely local: a regional meeting of the Boy Scouts. For example, the standards may be more or less prescriptive at different agencies. The average number of credits lost when transferring schools was 13, according to a study by the National Center for Education Statistics. Robert McGuire is a journalist and the owner of McGuire Editorial, a marketing firm specializing in higher education and education technology. Today, many “digital native” online schools, particularly for-profits, seek national accreditation. Each of the regional accrediting agencies uses a formal set of standards. Institutions that are regionally accredited focus on studies that are state-owned. 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. 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. creating degree programs that are primarily or entirely online. (These timelines can vary by agency.). The term “accredited” typically refers to regional accreditation. 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. Wesleyan University and Jesuit colleges); by non-sectarian civic groups and philanthropists with the goal of improving their communities (e.g. The older, more established, and more respected type of institutional accreditation is regional 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. For the purposes of determining whether a school is accredited by a recognized national agency, you can consider agencies that are approved by either or both the DOE and the CHEA. A non-accredited degree could end up being worth little or nothing if future employers do not recognize it. This means that regionally accredited colleges may present higher admissions hurdles, including minimum test scores, a competitive high school GPA, and a current academic record. 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. A school stakes out its own mission, student profile, breadth of offerings and instructional modes, and the accreditation is for that stated scope. Decide which accreditation factor(s) matter most to you then choose your online degree program accordingly. You may end up having to repeat courses. That was a substantive change and, moreover, it depended on translating measurable competencies into equivalent units of credit hours. The difference between a "regionally accredited" and "nationally accredited" school is a very important one when choosing the institution you will attend. What Does Regional Accreditation for a College Degree Program Mean? This is a quality assurance system that schools voluntarily engage in to have an outside organization investigate their programs and policies to ensure that students will receive valuable and useful education. This means that regionally accredited colleges may present higher admissions hurdles, including minimum test scores, a competitive high school GPA, and a current academic record. Monterey, VA 24465. 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