Seeking a Degree Via Online Courses?
January 5, 2009
What better way to earn a degree than to take course work online in the comforts of your home? Those contemplating such course work should read “Is Your Distance Learning School Accredited?” by Bill Johnson before you make the commitment. Johnson discusses the importance of both accreditation and acceptance. If the institution isn’t accredited, it most likely will not be recognized by prospective employers. Equally important is how accepted that institution is to potential employers. If employers don’t recognize or accept the academic institution, all of that course work is moot and could run the risk of hurting your job prospects. See excerpt from Johnson’s article below.
For whatever reason, when deciding to continue education through distance learning or online colleges, the most important requirement to check out first is if the establishment is “accredited” by accrediting institutions that are recognized by the federal government through the Department of Education. Otherwise, students could end up paying their money for a qualification paper that will not get recognition by almost all traditional establishments.
The downside of distance learning or an online degree is, even if the learning establishment that is giving the qualification has the required accrediting, it is not yet widely accepted by employers. It could also be difficult when trying to transfer the credits obtained to other programs run by those that do not recognize the particular learning establishment. This attests to the fact that it is a mutual recognition among the educators and their partners, so that the quality of the education given will be at a higher level, and there are no sets of rules to follow.
The accreditation is a process where other learning institutions, through a peer group setup, ascertain that a given learning establishment has what it take in terms of the education quality it is availing. The essential issues they would be looking at could be the school’s mission, goals, objectives, available resources and how they are utilized, enrollment requirements, and the overall quality of the education.
Remember, that employers are getting more suspicious of degrees from institutions that they do not recognize as more and misrepresent their educational background. You don’t want to run the risk that they think you have obtained your academic credentials from a diploma mill.