Find The Most Respected Accredited Online Colleges & Universities In This Updated 2014 Online College Directory
Now you can easily find the best accredited online colleges or universities to help you reach your educational and career goals. Simply search for your Associate, Bachelor, Masters or Doctorate degree in the Quick Degree Finder above or go directly to the school in which you are interested below.
When you locate a school that you are interested in, click directly on your desired degree or on the name of the school to request more information. You are under no obligation when you fill out a form. It provides the college with the information needed for one of the school’s enrollment advisors to contact you.
Enrollment advisors are there to help answer your specific questions about the school, its accreditation, and the programs in which you are interested. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of the enrollment process and will help you every step of the way in making your decision to enroll.
Why College Accreditation Matters
In today’s challenging economic times, you want to know that the money you are investing in yourself is well-spent, making it extremely important that the decision you make is an intelligent one. Not only does accreditation ensure that what you learn is relevant and legitimate, it also protects you and the investment you are making in yourself to advance your knowledge and skills.
Accreditation provides you with the assurance that the university meets quality standards established by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. It means that the school has gone through rigorous processes with an approved accreditation council to determine that the courses it offers are up-to-date in the knowledge it imparts and that students will gain meaningful knowledge and skills that will meet the needs of future employers.
Many of today’s colleges work closely with industries and organizations in designing curricula to ensure that they are preparing the kinds of employees needed to fill their positions. Accreditation organizations make sure that the colleges continue to keep their programs updated, that they are employing highly qualified teachers, and they are maintaining all the standards set forth by the accrediting boards.
Accreditation allows students to transfer credit from one school to another without forfeiting credit earned. By choosing an accredited institution of higher learning you will be much more likely to learn what you really need to know and qualify for licensure in various areas.
Advantages Of Earning Your Degree Online From An Accredited School
Taking the step to go back to college is a major decision, and making the decision to study online can be very intimidating to some students ‐ especially those who have been out of school for 10 years or more. Don’t feel alone; many online students fit into that category!
The majority of students who enroll in online degree programs do so because they need to keep working in their current careers as they prepare for better opportunities. That is the beauty of online programs! Today’s online degree programs have come a long way over the years and the quality of online education has increased as well.
Online Colleges and Universities Offer You Flexibility and Convenience
Today’s online degree programs offer you flexibility because you do not have to meet at a specific time every day as you would if you were attending a class on campus. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have work to do and assignments due each week, but it does mean that you make your own weekly schedule for getting your work done. You will be able to get online when it is convenient for you to answer discussion questions and submit assignments.
If you work at night, that’s ok. You can do your work at any point during the day. If you have a regular nine to five schedule, you can do your school work at any point in the evening ‐ even after everyone else is snug in bed. The fact is – online degree programs honestly do offer convenience and flexibility.
Expect Strong Student Support From The College Or University You Choose
The level of attention you receive as an online student will likely surprise you. Today’s online colleges and universities value you as a person. They understand that you are striving to gain valuable skills that can make a difference in your life.
Student workshops of all types are available from many schools, providing additional help with skills you may find particularly challenging. You will also find an amazing number of helpful tools to aid you in developing your skills to your full potential. The high level of support that students need to help them succeed is simply an expectation in the world of online education today.
At most schools, advisors remain by your side as a valuable resource for any type of issues you face during your enrollment ‐ especially during your first year of study. The extra support you get by developing a good relationship with your enrollment advisor is invaluable. You will never feel as if you are left in the dark with no one to contact for help.
Using The Quick Degree Finder On This Site
The Quick Degree Finder at the top of the Home page allows you to quickly choose either the degree type, program or a page that lists the online schools. Notice that between each option you will see the word "or" which means you do not need to choose all three fields.
Simply click on the drop down arrow and choose the degree you are interested in. For example, if you want to earn a bachelors degree but are unsure of the types of programs offered, simply select it and a page will open up to show you a list of all the fields in which you can earn a bachelor degree.
Or, if you want to go straight to a degree program, click on the drop down arrow beside "Select a Degree Program" and you will see a list of degrees from which to choose.
If you are already familiar with a particular school, you can select the drop down arrow beside "Search For School (A-Z)" and an alphabet listing will appear, allowing you to click on the first letter of the name of the school in which you are interested. This option easily takes you to the point where you can “Request More Information” without a hassle.
It’s a good idea to make a list of questions that you want the enrollment advisor to answer for you. As you hear from various schools and learn more, you can increase your list of questions for the next conversation. The more information you can obtain, the better choice you can make for your future!
If you are interested in finding out the differences and weighing the advantages of each college or university, you should contact all of the schools that interest you, and then you can make an informed decision about which school has the program that will best help you reach your goals and help you get prepared for greater career possibilities.
More About College Accreditation
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the United States Department of Education (USDE) recognize six regional accrediting agencies.
The first step in determining if the school you want to attend is accredited is to find out from which state the online school operates. For example, the University of Phoenix operates from its main headquarters in Tempe, Arizona. So it is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which is a member of the North Central Association (NCA).
Other states in the NCA include Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The other five regional accreditation agencies are listed below:
New England Association Of Schools And Colleges (NEASC) : The NEASC accredits schools in these states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Middle States Association Of Schools And Colleges (MSA) : Colleges in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands are accredited by the MSA.
Southern Association Of Schools And Colleges (SACS) : SACS provides accreditation for schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Western Association Of Schools And Colleges (WASC) : Colleges and Universities in California and Hawaii are accredited by the WASC.
Northwest Association Of Schools And Colleges (NWCCU) : Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington are accredited by the NWCCU.
Earning a degree from an online college or university accredited by one of these associations means your degree is valid and should be equally as valuable in the work force as a degree from any traditional school.
Accreditation Through The Distance Education And Training Council (DETC)
DETC is also a national accreditation organization which provides accreditation to some online colleges and universities. This group was organized initially to provide accreditation for correspondence courses and has continued to expand their services for online education.
The goal of DETC is to ensure the curricula of online college programs meet a set standard of goals and requirements offering a quality education to the students enrolled. Schools with DETC accreditation offer federal loan and grant programs as well as the GI Bill.
So if a school you are interested in has this type of accreditation, you’re in good shape as well. The only thing you might need to double check with this type of accreditation is the transfer of credits to other schools if this is of concern to you.
Studies on Online Accredited Degrees
Numerous studies have proven that students obtaining online college degrees from accredited colleges and universities perform as well or better than their on-campus counterparts. The book "The No Significant Difference Phenomenon" by Thomas L. Russell cites 355 research reports, papers, and summaries dating back to 1928 that found no significant difference between an online college education and in-class learning. Where a difference was identified, it generally favored the student obtaining an online accredited education from an online college!
Find Your School And Your Degree Program To Start Reaching Your Goals
Start researching your options today. The sooner you begin your search for the right online degree program from an accredited college or university, the sooner you can get you started on the right path to a brighter future with more career opportunities.