Are My Online Courses Accredited?
Your online courses could be accredited. You need to understand what being accredited means. Accreditation is all about standards, ethics & trust. Some online courses are run by colleges & universities where officials are prepared to violate any of these three if it means increased enrolment & income. Therefore responsible governments either set up accrediting departments , or farm this activity out to private organizations they can trust. They will examine all aspects of a college or university’s activites, including your online course, before deciding on accreditation. If affirmative, it tells the world that standards are being maintained. Other institutions with similar accreditation will now consider joint interactions, such as accepting transfer credits from students of that college or university. Those students will now find employers, grad schools & professional licensing bodies are more accepting of their CVs.
Who accredits my online college courses?
Your online college courses are accredited by the agencies listed below by country.
An International List of Accrediting Agencies:
Use this list of accreditors to begin checking the status of a college or university you wish to attend.
U.S. Accredited Online Colleges & Universities.
In the U.S there are 2 primary official sources at which to begin your search: The U.S. Dept. of Education (http://ope.edgov/accreditation/search.aspx ) and the Council for Higher Education, or CHEA (www.chea.org/ )
Both have public databases on the accreditation of colleges & universities in the U.S. There is also a “Giant List of Regionally Accredited Online Colleges at: http://distancelearn.about.com/od/onlinecourses/tp/Online-College-Profiles.htm and a list of accredited online colleges in the U.S. at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_online_colleges_in_the_United_States . A list of accredited online universities in the U.S. can also be found on Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_universities_accredited_by_DEAC .
Canadian Online Accredited Colleges & Universities.
In Canada there is one main accrediting agency, and that is membership in the AUCC, or Canadian Association of Colleges & Universities. Their membership list of colleges & universities is at: http://www.aucc.ca/about-us/member-universities/ There are also professional associations that grant accreditation. For specifically online studies from AUCC members there is the Canadian Virtual University – An association of Canada’s “leading universities specializing in online studies” with a website at: http://www.cvu-uvc.ca/english.html
Latin American accredited Online Universities.
A List of the 50 Top Latin American Universities 2014 as Graded by QS World University Rankings (A private media education company) is at http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/latin-american-university-rankings/2014. Here grading is a secondary form of accreditation. Among the grading factors one can check here is one for Web Impact & online courses. For other accreditation bodies and specialized agencies for professional bodies, see the country you are interested in. US News & World Report also grades Latin American Colleges & Universities, arriving at the top 13 at its website: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/latin-america.
Online Accredited Colleges & Universities in Britain.
In the U.K. online education is called distance learning. It’s accreditor is called ODLQC (Open & Distance Learning Quality Council) and it’s URL is http://odlqc.org.uk/ They uphold the standards that applicants for accreditation must meet. They accredit some 16,000 online courses. There is a list of providers that they have accredited found at: http://odlqc.org.uk/accredited-providers. ODLQC in turn is a member of EADL (European Assoc. for Distance Learning) There is also another accrediting agency called ASIC ( Accreditation Service for International Colleges) at http://www.asic.org.uk/ It covers some colleges in the UK & some International, both regular and online colleges.
Online French Colleges & Universities.
The ministry of Education in France is responsible for accreditation in France, including online education. It often takes advice from special bodies whose accreditation is trusted. There is a list of French Universities arranged by city at http://about-france.com/universities.htm You will not find too many involved in online studies. But France has begun an initiative called FUN (France Universite Numerique) found at http://www.journaldunet.com/ebusiness/le-net/france-universite-numerique-0113.shtml which aims to get 20% of French public universities online by 2017.
Online German Colleges & Universities.
There is a list of Accredited German Colleges & Universities at http://www.4icu.org/de/ This list is arranged by ranking. Accreditation in Germany is the responsibility of the German Accreditation Council who then farm out the actual accrediting to trusted agencies.
Online courses in Germany are best found through 2 private companies : The Distance Learning Portal.com (www.distancelearningportal.com/countries/11/germany.html ) and Learn4Good.com (www.learn4good.com/…/distance_learning_courses_germany.htm)
Australia & New Zealand – Online Accredited Colleges & Universities.
The Government of Australia has set out the rules for accreditation in an act called Teqsa, under which Australian Colleges & Universities may self-accredit themselves providing that they meet the standards required under the act.
One place for finding listings of online college & university courses is Online Study Australia which can be found at: http://onlinestudyaustralia.com/ Another is Open Universities Australia, found at: www.open.edu.au/ which is a consortium of 8 Australian colleges & universities. At Onlinestudyaustralia (http://onlinestudyaustralia.com/) you will find a ranking of the major online Australian colleges & universities.
New Zealand has 8 online universities. By going to the URL: http://www.educationonline.co.nz you can find them listed. Accreditation for secondary & tertiary institutions is based on a government body, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. The institutions that have been accredited are known as KiwiQuals.
Online Accredited Colleges & Universities in India.
In India the University Grants Commission appoints trusted bodies to carry out the actual task of Accrediting. In some instances the Indian Parliament also decides accreditation. There is a list of approved online universities at http://www.university.careers360.com/articles/list-of-approved-distance-education-universities-in-india
China – Online Accredited Colleges & Universities.
The Ministry of Education in China is the approval body for all online Colleges & universities. There is a central information website called CUCAS at http://www.cucas.edu.cn/ A list of Universities which allow foreign students & is arranged by city can be found at: http://www.edu.cn/html/e/CIAIS/indexSchool.html
Hong Kong Online Accredited Colleges & Universities
Accreditation here is by the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation. The Hong Kong Virtual University is a collaboration of 4 local universities offering online courses in a blended fashion with actual lab classes & tutorials mixed with online learning. It can be found at http://hkvu.ust.hk/hkvu/about_us.html
Other Asian Online Accredited Colleges & Universities.
The Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) is a non-profit organization of higher learning Asian institutions. This group founded in 1987 has as part of its mandate the promotion of education by distance (online) teaching systems, as well as professional and ethical standards. It’s URL is http://aaou.ouhk.edu.hk/
The group is a member of the International Council for Open & Distance Education. (ICDE). There is a list of the member colleges & universities at http://aaou.ouhk.edu.hk/full-members-of-aaou.html
South Korean Online Accredited Colleges & Universities
In South Korea most accreditation is provided by the KCUE or Korean Council for University Education, a private association of colleges & universities which evaluates educational standards. Central to online studies is the Korean National Open University. It’s URL is www.knou.ac.kr/engknou2/ It has campuses in every major South Korean City. Also important is Daegu Cyber University, accredited by the Korean Ministry of Education. (http://english.dcu.ac.kr/aboutcu/aboutdcu_002htm) and Hanyang Cyber University (http://www.hangyang.ac.kr/english/ ) A list of recognized colleges & Universities can be found at http://www.open.ac.uk/study/credit-transfer/my-previous-study/overseas-qualifications/countries/south-korea
Spain – Online Accredited Colleges & Universities
Accreditation of Spanish Colleges & Universities is regulated by Spanish Law. There is a list of accredited colleges & universities at http://www.studyineurope.eu/study_in_spain/higher-education-institutions. One of the main online Spanish universities is UOC, or Universitat Oberta de Catalunya found at www.uoc.edu/ . This university was founded in 1996 as a fully online university. A high percentage of its students come from Latin America.
Italy – Online Accredited Colleges & Universities
A list of accredited colleges & universities in Italy may be found at http://www.studyineurope.eu/study-in-italy/higher-education-institutions . Another good list is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_universities_in_Italy where you can find recent rankings as well. In Italy accreditation is formally determined by the government principally through a body called The National Committee for the Evaluation of the University System (CNVSU) when it considers that minimum standards have been met. You will need to go to individual university pages to check for online activity.