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Choosing an Accredited Distance Learning Program

When it comes to distance learning and your resume, it is much better to take a distance learning program that has been accredited, since most employers will give your degree a lot more merit if it comes from an accredited school. We use the term accredited a lot, but many people donít even know what it means, so let me give you a little more information that may help.

When a school or learning institution is accredited, it means that the school meets certain criteria and standards outlined by the national educational programs. Currently, there are only six organizations in the United States that can give a school its accreditation: the NEASC, otherwise known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the NCASC, otherwise known as the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, the MSASC, otherwise known as the Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges, the SACS, otherwise known as the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, WACS, otherwise known as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and NWCCU, which is otherwise known as the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. As you can guess, these are divided to cover different regions of the United States, so depending on where your school is located, you will know what agency did the accreditation, and who to contact for more information on that school.

When an employer sees that your degree has come from an accredited institution, he or she automatically has more faith in you knowing what you say you know, and in your ability to be a successful, integral part of the team. If it comes down to someone who went to an accredited school and someone who didnít, who do you think will get the job?

The information listed above should be the minimum requirements you look for in a college, whether it be university, or distance learning. Some schools earn other accreditation, known as specialized accreditation. This type is awarded to a school with exemplary performance in a particular field or course of study. This could be a nursing school, medical school, law school, etc.

If you are thinking of pursuing a specialized career, such as those listed above, you might want to look for a distance learning program that has such specialized accreditation. It could mean the world when you are finished with your schooling and it comes time to find a job in your chosen field.

To find out if a school is accredited, you can contact the Council on Higher Education, at http://www.chea.org. All of the schools that are accredited will be found on this website, so it is an easy way to find an accredited distance learning program. Keep in mind, just because an institution says that it is accredited, doesnít mean that it really is. Do you want to stake your career on what someone else claims?



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