Accredited online degree programs have revolutionized higher education around the world. Location and time constraints once kept people from earning a degree. Today’s online programs give students, including working adults, the opportunity to earn a quality degree from wherever they live and on their schedule.
The key is finding a program that offers the quality that students deserve. The first step in ensuring that quality is to enroll in an accredited school. Accreditation signifies that an online program has gone through a rigorous evaluation and meets high educational standards.
“The goal of accreditation is to ensure that institutions of higher education meet acceptable levels of quality,” notes the U.S. Department of Education. Certifying quality standards requires collaboration between accreditation agencies and federal and state governments.
Why Accreditation is So Important
The best universities have accreditation from a regional accreditation body. They must undergo a lengthy examination of their programs to earn accreditation. For example, Touro University Worldwide is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Accreditation serves as an external validation that an online college or university meets or exceeds specific standards of quality in education. It ensures the institution provides a legitimate and valuable education. It also enhances the credibility and reputation of an online institution, signifying that the college has undergone a rigorous evaluation process and has met established standards of excellence.
Accredited institutions are more likely to accept transfer credits from other accredited institutions. This is crucial for students who may transfer to a different school or pursue further education.
Also, students attending accredited online colleges are eligible to receive federal financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and loans. Accreditation is a crucial requirement for schools to participate in government-funded aid programs. In addition, certain professions require graduates to earn a degree from an accredited institution in order to obtain professional licenses or certifications.
Employers often consider accreditation when evaluating the qualifications of potential hires. Graduating from an accredited institution can enhance a student’s job prospects and career opportunities.
The Advantages of Taking College Courses Online
Online degree programs have come a long way in the 21st century as innovations in technology continue to improve what universities can offer online. However, students still face the task of finding the best online universities.
Determining the best online degree programs is not the same process as assessing on-campus programs. Students must look beyond the surface information and know what the best online universities offer.
Online learning has expanded the reach of schools, eliminating geographic boundaries. That alone makes it a significant step forward in higher education. Students can now look beyond the schools in their local area. Touro University Worldwide, for example, has about 19,000 students from across the U.S. and around the world.
Advantages of online education include:
- Flexibility. Working adults can now improve their careers by earning a degree while maintaining their professional and personal responsibilities.
- Affordability. No need to pay for student housing, parking, or meal plans. Students also do not have to consider transportation back and forth to school.
- Instant relevancy. In the past, life essentially stopped as students went to school for four or more years. Now, students learn something in class on Tuesday and apply it to their career or job on Wednesday.
- Bigger network. With students from around the world, those who take online courses can expand their network beyond their local area.
- Pacing options. Some programs allow students to learn at their own pace, which provides even more flexibility.
What to Look for in a University
Thorough research is essential to avoid scams and find the best accredited online degree program. Fortunately, the following key factors make this research relatively easy.
Faculty. Research the faculty for each school. It’s best to find faculty that have academic experience combined with real-world experience working in their topic area.
Transfer credits. Find out if credits earned from the university can transfer. In most cases, credits earned at an accredited school are easily transferred to other colleges and universities. Also, the school should have a generous transfer policy if you have taken courses from an accredited school.
Support services. Access to support is essential for success in an online learning environment. This includes tech support in working with the online learning system and advisors who help students choose the courses they need and ensure they stay on course to graduate.
TUW Offers Accredited Online Degree Programs
Touro University Worldwide is a pioneer in offering online degree programs. TUW has long recognized how online programs make earning a degree possible for those who previously could not, including working adults and those in rural and other areas without access to a high-quality, local college.
Students who apply are confident that TUW is fully accredited, offers robust student support, an experienced faculty, and a generous credit transfer policy. The school’s commitment to fostering a passionate, connected learning community helps students earn their degrees and achieve their academic and career goals.