Ask Asa: How To Tell If An Online University Is Properly Accredited
If you are unemployed, you know it's a jobless jungle out there. To help you navigate the unemployment terrain, NY1's Employment reporter Asa Aarons has answers to some viewers' questions.
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Earlier this week, the NY1 Employment Report covered "distance learning" -- universities with e-courses and online degrees.
A number of viewers wrote in and asked the most logical questions about dealing with an out-of-state distance learning institution -- How do you check to make sure the online university is really all it claims to be? Also, how do you make sure it is properly accredited and not just a diploma mill churning out empty credits?
The term "accredited" is used freely by some institutions, so be careful. All learning institutions should openly provide their accreditation and give the accrediting agency. Watch out for terms like "pursuing accreditation," "chartered," "licensed," "registered," "recognized," "authorized," or "approved." If you see some of these phrases, conduct a more detailed investigation.
Also make sure the agency doing the accreditation is properly accredited. Visit the web site of the U.S. Department of Education at www.ed.gov, where there are links to the proper agencies.
Another source is the Council for Higher Education Accreditation at www.chea.org. CHEA is a nongovernmental organization that recognizes accrediting agencies in the United States and helps coordinate quality standards. Their site may be the quickest way to check the status of an educational organization.
Retirees who are enjoying an online course on post-Renaissance art probably do not need to worry about accreditation. However, people who are trying to put together an education and gathering credits towards a degree should make sure all their work will be recognized by a real learning institution recognized by a real accrediting organization.
If you have an employment story, a job, a new interview technique, or something you want to share with those looking for work or those doing the hiring, contact Asa Aarons at email@example.com.