How Can I Verify that an Online Associate's Degree Is Accredited?

Accreditation shows that an online program has met certain standards. To verify that an online associate's degree program is accredited, find out the accrediting agency and make sure it is reputable. Read on to learn how to verify that an online associate's degree program is accredited.

Why Accreditation is Important

There are several reasons why students need to verify if an online associate's degree program they are considering is accredited. If the profession the student is planning on entering has certification or licensing requirements, graduation from an accredited program is generally required. Also, if they are considering further study, they should be aware that colleges will not accept transfer credits from a non-accredited program. Here's how to determine if a program is accredited.

Important Facts About Accredited Associate Degree Programs

Common Courses English, mathematics, history, humanities, social sciences, lab sciences
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent
Concentrations Business administration, education, liberal arts, science, engineering, dental hygiene, nursing, information system technology, early childhood development
Online Availability Full associate's degree programs available

Find the Accrediting Agency

The first step is to find out if the online associate's degree program claims to be accredited. This information is usually available on the program's website. Otherwise, it can be obtained by calling the institution's admissions department. Students should verify the name and obtain contact information of the accrediting agency.

Verify the Accrediting Agency

Accrediting agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), www.ed.gov, have shown that they adhere to certain standards when awarding accreditation. Benefits of accreditation by a recognized agency might include wider options for financial aid and a better chance of credits being able to transfer to a traditional institution. Some programs are accredited by agencies that aren't recognized by the USDE. To make sure the online associate's degree program is accredited by a reputable agency, see if the agency is on the USDE's list of accrediting agencies recognized for distance education.

Recognized Agencies

There are many recognized accrediting agencies for specific types of programs, such as the American Dietetic Association, Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education, www.eatright.org. There are also agencies, such as the Distance Education and Training Council, www.detc.org, that work specifically with distance education programs. Students searching for a program in a specific field might contact the accrediting agency for a list of accredited online associate's degree programs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

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