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The Importance Of Accreditation For Online Education Facilities – Learn Some Useful Facts

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By Author: Bimol Bee
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Probably, you have given a thought to the present-day phenomenon of the online education facilities popularity? Yes, that is true, during the recent decade the online training programs demonstrated explosive growth fueled by the no less explosive increase of the demand for such methods of distance learning. The reasons behind the popularity growth of online education programs are several; the most important of them is the availability of degree training programs that can be completed in online mode.

It is no secret that in our times a college degree of some level of academic excellence, such as an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, has become veritably a critical competitive advantage for any aspiring person, wishing to further his or her career promotion. Many former students who quit their colleges for some reason before earning their degree in many cases cherished a dream to finish their training, but were unable to do so. The same is true for people with, for instance, an associate’s degree, who are desperately in need of continuing education to move to the next step, to get the ...
... bachelor’s degree. But, since the overwhelming majority of working professional cannot afford leaving their hard-earned employment position to go back to campus, they are faced with a kind of vicious circle: they need to quit working in order to get a degree to promote their careers and successfully compete with degree-holders for better and more advantageous jobs, but that means foregoing the regular paychecks, which is out of the question, nobody can support them and their families during one-two years of degree training. The idea of evening courses is also not really feasible – it requires almost inhuman efforts to attend classes three times a week after the hectic working hours. It is too tiresome and stressful.

But the introduction of affordable personal computing and, several years later, the Internet technologies of instant communication and data exchange resulted in truly revolutionary changes in the segment of distance learning and educations. In our times any person in need of a college degree but limited by circumstances (necessity to fulfill professional and family commitments, geographical limitation or being a disabled person who physically cannot travel to a campus) can make use of all the benefits offered by online education facilities, including the online degree training. This kind of education is affordable and easily accessible from any geographical location, provided a person has access to a PC connected to Internet. An online degree student does not have to travel to a traditional, brick-and-mortar, college campus. All assignments can be comfortably completed from home. But this is not the only advantage of online degree training. As an online student, you are granted the excellent and very precious possibility to adjust the learning schedule around your daily activities, not the other way around, as it happens with traditional colleges, where one has to be present at classes in person and follow the rigid schedule, catching up with the rest of the class. An online student is a true master of his or her learning time. The online degree training can be completed faster or slower, since you are able to progress along at a self-paced rate. Besides the critical advantages mentioned above, the online degree training lets a student to save time and money on such expenditures as costs of commuting and campus accommodations, as well as the expensive text books. The teaching materials can be downloaded or accessed online at any time, the digital format textbooks cannot get lost or worn-out, it is possible to make as many copies of them as one needs. Besides, the online training makes good use of various digital multimedia features, such as e-mails, instant messaging, streaming video, video conferencing and VoIP, in this way hugely stimulating the creative and learning potential of degree students.

As you can see, the reasons for explosive growth of the online education segment are obvious: there has always been a great demand for affordable and accessible distance learning that can offer quality education and training to people who do not have a possibility to use the traditional campus-based college facilities. As soon as the technology got developed enough and presented such possibility, the number of online degree programs offered on the Internet practically sky-rocketed.

But the sheer quantity of the degree programs can be confusing for a novice to this area. Besides, not all the aggressively advertised online programs are of the same quality. A green-horn can easily fall a victim of so called “diploma mills” – so were christened shady fraudulent schemes, which sell degree diplomas online to innocent simpletons who suspect nothing. Having spent a hefty sum of hard-earned money on such “college degree” they get a nasty surprise later on. They discover that their degrees are worth nothing, since no decent employer is going to accept and validate them. You see, such risks are just the darker side of the popularity of the online degree training.

Luckily, there is a 100% guaranteed remedy against this kind of illness. This remedy is called “accreditation”. If a person in search of a suitable online degree program limits the search criteria strictly to ACCREDITED online degree programs, in this way he or she will avoid all risks of being cheated by the shady “diploma mills” schemes. Let us have a closer look at the issue of the accreditation:

- What is understood by “accreditation”, actually?

If you look up this term in a dictionary you will find out that “accreditation” means more or less the same as the official approval or recognition. This means that if an educational facility, be it a traditional college or a modern online degree training program, has been accredited then a certificate, diploma or degree issued by this facility to its students will have perfectly legitimate status, being an officially approved document. A student with a degree from an accredited online training program will never face any complications with acceptance and validation of the diploma on the part of the employers.

- How the process of accreditation is conducted?

The accreditation is effected by the pertinent supervising agencies, which are authorized to conduct such things as the accreditation of education establishments. They carefully check the learning process standards of the education facility to make sure they fulfill certain criteria's. Such agencies are completely independent organization and the judgment they make is totally unbiased and true-to-life. The process of accreditation is conducted according to a certain procedure, which includes certain strict rules and regulations.

Accreditation agencies carefully examine the operations of the education facility in question, making sure it meets the adopted standards and you will get the best quality training for your money’s worth. Since the accrediting agencies are totally independent and in no way related to the facility under consideration the opinion they offer is perfectly unbiased and can be trusted 100%.

- How can one make sure the facility in question does have the accredited status?

The ultimate reference for this kind of information is the Universal Council for Online Education Accreditation (UCOEA). If the online degree program is included into the list of all online universities that are accredited, which can be accessed on the pertinent UCOEA site, you can be perfectly sure that by getting a degree from this particular program you will be getting the best value for the money you pay.

- What are the advantages offered by an accredited degree?

The main critically important advantage of joining an accredited program will be the perfect legitimacy of the degree you receive. Your future will be safe and your degree will be accepted by any possible employer. Since getting a degree is an important investment into your future professional career success, the decision you make should be wise and balanced, otherwise your time and money risk going down the drain.

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