Popular Schools

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Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Strayer University

Associate Programs
Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Capella University

Bachelor Degrees
Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Southern New Hampshire University

Associate Programs
Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Colorado Christian University

Associate Programs
Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Grand Canyon University

Bachelor Degrees
Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Central Christian College of Kansas responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Central Christian College of Kansas

Associate Programs
Central Christian College of Kansas responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Walden University

Bachelor Degrees
Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Liberty University

Associate Programs
Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.
Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

What Does IT Mean for Online Colleges to Be Nationally Accredited?

A school's accreditation provides assurance to prospective students that its programs meet quality educational standards. If you're considering an online college, read on for information about national accreditation for online schools.

Accreditation Defined

In the United States, school accreditation is determined by private non-profit agencies. These accrediting agencies measure a school's academic programs and faculty against established standards, and if a school meets such standards, it's granted accreditation. Although the federal government doesn't accredit institutions, the U.S. Department of Education evaluates and approves both national and regional accrediting agencies. Also, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognizes accrediting agencies that have met high quality standards.

Important Facts About Online Colleges

Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees available
Prerequisites Vary, depending upon institution; associate's and bachelor's degree programs typically require a high school diploma, or equivalent
Concentrations Psychology, English, political science, business administration, history, graphic design, criminal justice, data analytics, communication
Possible Careers Air traffic controller, nuclear technician, commercial diver, teacher, financial analyst, software developer, technical writer, camera operator

Accreditation Types

Schools and academic programs can be regionally or nationally accredited. National accreditation is granted by agencies with the authority to accredit schools anywhere across the United States. These institutions are often single-purpose schools with specialized, career-based programs. This is in contrast to regional accreditation, which is granted by regional agencies that only accredit schools in specific geographical regions of the United States. Institutional accreditation signifies that the entire school is accredited, whereas programmatic accreditation means that only certain programs within a school are accredited by an agency.

Online Colleges

When an online college is nationally accredited, it has been evaluated by a national accrediting agency. Some online schools may be both regionally and nationally accredited, depending on their programs of study. The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) is a nationally recognized agency that accredits distance education programs specifically; this accreditation may include all-online schools. You can also research the accreditation status of any program and school via the U.S. Department of Education website.

Transferring from an Online College

If you want to transfer from your online school to another school, check to make sure your credits will transfer. Many regionally accredited schools won't accept transfer credits from nationally accredited schools. This means that if you take courses from a nationally accredited online school, you may not be able to transfer credits into an academic program from a regionally accredited brick-and-mortar institution. If you plan on completing courses at a nationally accredited online college and want to transfer to another university, check to see both schools' policies on transferring credits before enrolling in online courses.