Many employers are reluctant to hire graduates from online programs that aren’t accredited, and with good reason. While accrediting bodies and their processes are not infallible, consumers (students) must have a minimal level of assurance that the degree they earn will be worth time, effort, and money invested in it.
In my opinion, institutions should be at least regionally accredited to even be considered for enrollment–that regional accreditation provides a stamp of approval that says major aspects of the college or university have been examined, such as financial and accounting practices, faculty qualifications, mission and vision, general curriculum, and so on.
Then, for those career-minded prospective students who strive to improve their chances of getting the better jobs, they should select institutions that have been nationally accredited by specialized accrediting bodies. Nursing students, for example, should select a program that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Education students, on the other hand, should look for a program that is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). National recognition by specialized professional associations also makes an important statement about the quality of a given program.
If a college or university is accredited, they will display it on their website proudly and prominently–you won’t have to hunt and search for it. It will likely be on their home page, either as a splash or at the bottom with a link called Accreditation, or something similar. Just word of caution though: Look for the major accrediting bodies to be listed (regional, national). A high-quality, credible teacher preparation program, for example, shouldn’t have to rely on accreditation from a body that also accredits trade schools such as truck driving, cosmetology, and the like. There’s nothing wrong with those schools–but a professional program worth its salt should not have to “earn its stripes” that way.
Still unsure as to how to select a quality institution for your college degree? Reach out to me; I can help.