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What is Accredited Online School and How to Select Best Online High School?
What is accreditation?
It can be said that accreditation is the most vital factor to consider at the time of comparing your set of academic options. Accredited virtual schools have been deeply evaluated and determined to be operating with the best interests of students in mind. There are two prominent types of accreditation. These are regional accreditation and national accreditation.
Accreditation is a major aspect of locating a highly reputable online distance learning program which truly fits your requirements. There are various diploma mills that tend to lure you in. These get your hard-earned money. However, some do not educate you or assist you in starting your career. Try to stay away from institutions which are not properly accredited. It does not matter how great their promises appear to be.
Regional accreditation is usually awarded to academically oriented colleges and universities. These are not-for-profit institutions. There are 6 regional accreditation organizations which are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
National accreditation is mainly reserved for vocational academies, for-profit colleges, technical schools and universities. Recognized organizations which award national accreditation are then divided into 3 main groups. These are programmatic; career-related and faith-related.
Regional accreditation is inclusive of colleges and universities which provide various reputable degrees, financial aid, and the actual opportunity to transfer credits from one institution to another. In general, regional accrediting agencies are divided up into 6 areas from which they govern. These are the Middle States, North Central, Western and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, New England and the Northwest Commission of Schools and Colleges.
Why is regional accreditation important?
At the time of researching an online program, you need to keep in mind that employers are highly interested in the accreditation of your school as well as the school’s reputation. Employers prefer regionally accredited schools. This is because it is harder to gain this recognition because of the rigorous set of guidelines.
Accreditation is mainly determined by an external group of people. This group involves seasoned educators from various other reputable universities plus school administrations. They are experienced. Also, these have the authority to figure out a school’s qualifications. They are mainly looking at the university’s mission, their set of objectives and goals, the student’s admission requirements etc. Also, they tend to review the school’s services which they offer for each student. They make sure to check the overall quality of education. The reputation of the faculty members also come into play here. Certainly, they wish to make sure you that you will get a quality education at an institute that they deem fit for accreditation. In addition, this is vital for you if you wish to transfer your credits or require financial aid. Some of these want a quality education. It has to be noted that accredited schools are eligible to get federal and state financial aid.
Are all online high schools accredited?
Most of the online high schools are accredited. Many of them tend to offer acceptable accreditations. You need to check as to what kind of accreditation an institute has. You need to be diligent in your research work in this context. In general, an institute’s website is likely to state their accreditation affiliation. However, you need to verify their claim. You need to do it via the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website. It is www.chea.org.
Check the Department of Education
You need to double-check the online school’s credentials. And, it is an easy thing to do. First of all, you need to log on to the Department of Education’s website. Make sure to view its list of regional and national institutional accrediting agencies. You can check to see if the institute’s listed institutional accreditation is from one of the reputable agencies. In an alternate manner, you can view the Department of Education’s list of post-secondary schools that have legitimate accreditation.
Look into the website of the accrediting agency
Then, you need to make sure that your school is listed as an accredited institution. You should be able to view it on the website of the legitimate accrediting agency. You must check that the accrediting agency recognizes the credential of the school.
Look for Programmatic Accreditation or State Board Recognition
Apart from institutional accreditation, you might need to find out whether your program has legitimate programmatic, state or professional board accreditation. The simplest way to do this is to go to the website of the state agency, accrediting agency or professional agency in question. This is to see their list of accredited institutions. If your school is listed there, you can enroll into the online high school program.
How to select a good online high school?
- Get to know as to who accredits the school. A genuine online high school which is regionally accredited will have the widest level of acceptance. Diplomas and credits from regionally accredited schools are usually accepted by colleges as well as secondary schools. There are certain colleges and high schools that accept national accreditation. Stay away from unaccredited and diploma mill schools.
- Get to know about the curriculum which is used. Your online high school needs to have a time-tested curriculum. It should cater to the student’s academic needs. Make sure to ask about additional programs like special education, advanced placement or college prep.
- Get to know as to what percentage of students go on to college. College might be highly vital to you. No matter what, you should choose an online high school which sends a good number of its graduates to college.
- Get to know as to what type of online high school it is. In general, there are 4 types of online high schools. These are private schools, charter schools, public schools and university-sponsored schools.