There is an up-and-coming trend in education called distance learning. This is a direct result of increasing use of the Internet as well as the fact that more people have to work during traditional school hours in order to make ends meet. You need to be cautious when researching schools, however, since there are many educational institutions that provide diplomas and certifications that have no value in the world of work.
When employers evaluate the education of a potential employee, one of the first things they look for is whether or not the school was accredited. These are periodically evaluated by the governmental agencies to ensure that their expectations, coursework, and diploma programs provide the best education possible. This is especially important when evaluating online educational institutions since ensuring that the efforts result in the position desired upon conclusion is important.
A further reason to ensure the program selected meets the endorsement requirements outlined is that if one wishes to pursue higher education later on, completed credits cannot be transferred to accredited institutions. What this means is that in the event a higher degree is desired, the education process would have to be started over. Instead of spending two years to earn a bachelors degree, for instance, four years would have to be expended.
Researching various options will help narrow the choices to only schools which have achieved accreditation. These can include regional locations, those specializing in distance learning, faith or academic based programs, or those that specialize in specific careers such as with legal careers. The best way to tell is to enter the school site and look for a tab that specifically discusses their accreditation status. Additionally, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) website also lists institutions who meet this criterion.
In order to know that the information provided meets mandates there are several things to look for. Both the US Department of Education as well as the Council for Higher Education will have a list of schools that meet the qualifications. Additionally, the Council for Higher Education has a database as well as a directory that will help individuals verify the schools status then direct them to the appropriate website.
Online schools can also earn endorsement through the Distance Education Training Council or through specific programs such as the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, Health Education Schools, or one of the many other disciplines. Regional bodies can also issue accreditation.
There is little more important than pursuing education beyond high school. Without a degree or certification in a specialized field, upward mobility in the workplace is limited and achieving financial freedom is almost impossible. Although some achieve success without it, these cases are rare. In order to ensure that any online coursework taken leaves the door open for continued education, it’s important to make sure that the school providing instruction meets the minimum requirements demanded of institutions of higher learning who provide services online.