Most of the “free” courses you’ll find online are not accredited. It’s your responsibility to determine if you need a degree from an accredited institution. Some employers just want to make sure you know your stuff. They might not care if you took free courses or paid $30,000 for an Associate’s degree from an accredited institution. Others have more stringent requirements. Check with the particular employer before assuming anything.
Accreditation is a continuous process of validation during which colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning are evaluated. The standards for accreditation are set by a review board whose members include faculty from various accredited colleges and universities. The board assists in the evaluation of each potential new school accreditation and the renewals of previously accredited colleges and schools.
In order for education institutions to become accredited, they must meet the general standards set by the peer review accreditation boards. Each college is typically assessed using the following criteria:
- Overall Mission of the College
- Objectives and Goals
- Student Requirements for Admissions
- Services Available to Students
- Quality of Education
- Reputation of Faculty
Why is accreditation important?
An important factor in launching a successful career is choosing a reputable college. Accredited colleges are more likely to offer degrees that employers and recruiters recognize, but that’s not always the case. Companies want to know that you have a quality education and that you will have something to bring to the table when you join their team. For this purpose, accreditation enables companies to filter those individuals who have obtained a degree from an accredited institution from those who have not. The accreditation process also gives students a better chance of having their credits transferred from one institution from one to another.