What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a non-governmental peer-review process that evaluates the educational standards of an institution or program. In the United States, accreditation is synonymous with assuring educational quality. When an institution earns accreditation, it means they have undergone a comprehensive self-study and peer examination that shows the institution meets standards of accreditation.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation confirms that the quality of an institution or program has been reviewed. It is important to verify that the institution you choose will provide you the education program and preparation for the area of study you have chosen. Accreditation provides that assurance.
How Do I Know if a College is Accredited?
A college will usually list their accreditations on their website. You can also contact the college directly to learn more about their accreditation. Accreditation status can also be verified through the CHEA website or through the US Dept. of Education, Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.
If a College is State-Approved, Does that Mean it’s Accredited?
No. State approval means that a college has met certain minimum requirements formulated by the State for all degree-granting institutions operating in that State. Accreditation goes beyond this to ensure that a college has achieved a level of quality accepted by other colleges of the same category.
What is DEAC Accreditation?
Woodmont College is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
The DEAC was founded in 1926 and was originally called the National Home Study Council (NHSC). Back then, there was no internet and correspondence schools offered learning opportunities via snail mail. The NHSC was formed after a Carnegie Corporation study identified a lack of standards in assessing the quality of correspondence schools. The NHSC ensured that such programs were authentic and provided standards of education.
In 1959, the NHSC was recognized by the US Office of Education. In 1994, the NHSC was renamed the Distance Education and Training Council. It assumed its current title, DEAC, in 2014.
Does DEAC Accreditation = Quality Education?
The DEAC evaluates all of its accredited institutions thoroughly. All institutions and programs applying for approval must submit to a series of rigorous evaluations. A student enrolled in a DEAC accredited program can expect to receive a quality learning experience delivered by trained and experienced instructors. Skilled, highly knowledgeable, instructors are a prerequisite of a DEAC approved program.
Who is Eligible to Apply for DEAC Accreditation?
Before an institution can apply for accreditation, it must meet DEAC eligibility criteria which includes:
- Each program offered by the institution is predominantly distance education or correspondence education (51% or more).
- The institution must be properly licensed, authorized, exempted or approved by the applicable state educational institutional authority (or its equivalent for non-U.S. institutions).
- At the time of initial application, the institution must have been enrolling students in current programs for two consecutive years under the present ownership.
- There is evidence via audited or reviewed financial statements that the institution is financially sound.
- The institution, its owners, governing board members, officials and administrators possess sound reputations and demonstrate a record of integrity and ethical conduct.
How Does the DEAC Evaluate Institutions?
The DEAC employs independent subject specialists mainly from regionally accredited institutions to evaluate the courses/programs of applicants for accreditation or reaccreditation. In addition, the DEAC reviews academic quality, educational requirements, faculty and student services, legal business practices, academic support services, research resources, administrative and financial capacity before granting accreditation to an institution or program.
Who is DEAC Accredited?
The DEAC accredits over 100 distance education institutions in 21 states and 7 countries which include non-profit institutions, trade associations, for-profit companies, colleges and universities, and military organizations.
Is a DEAC Accredited Degree Recognized Internationally?
A DEAC degree is a nationally accredited American degree which is generally recognized around the world. American higher education is respected as the gold standard of higher education and therefore many international companies will recognize DEAC accredited degrees. However, it is still recommended that a student check the status of a prospective degree in their own country before enrolling.
Can a DEAC Accredited Institution Participate in Financial Aid Programs?
DEAC accredited institutions are eligible to apply for participation in the following financial aid programs:
- Federal Title IV student loans and grants
- The Montgomery G.I. Bill
- The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill
- Military Tuition Assistance Programs for Spouses (Career Advancement Accounts) and Active Duty Army Vocational courses (AVOTEC)
Will Credits Earned from a DEAC-accredited Institution be Accepted by all Colleges?
This is determined by the policy of the college or university. It is recommended that you check with the receiving institution. A 2006 survey of DEAC graduates reported that of those who attempted to transfer credits and degrees, 70% were successful.