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What is the difference between national and regional accreditation. Does the fact that an organization is nationally, but not regionally, accredited devalue the degree they offer? What are you thoughts?

Case in point. I was reading about the distance learning programs at American Public University System. Have you heard anything about them? Their website states the following:

National Accreditation: American Public University System is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).

Regional Accreditation: American Public University System was granted candidacy status by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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HI Sarah,

Excellent question! This University System is definitely taking positive steps to ensure that their offerings are well credentialed.

The National accreditation mentioned is easier to receive, but is still very important to students and graduates. The Regional one involves a lengthy assessment process which includes extensive report writing, self and external review and approval. Once they get full approval this System will indeed offer top notch "proof" that they are a recognized institution worthy of a student's attention.

Good Luck in your Study Search!!

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Hey Sarah,

Here's a more detailed explanation of the differences between the two types of accreditation. Note that none is more superior than the other as far as quality of education is concerned. They just apply to different situations.

Regional accreditation - Six accrediting organization are responsible for accrediting the majority of colleges and universities in the US. These associations accredit entire institutions and they are all equally authoritative recognizing each other as such.

National accreditation - without accreditation by a nationally recognized accrediting organization, a school is not eligible to participate in government student assistance programs, which means you, as a studet, are not eligible for federal grant or loan money.

Also most national accrediting bodies accredit only specific kinds of schools, such as religious schools, home study institutions, and some trade and technical schools. This is common where it is important that a program or department be accredited by the profession's accrediting body than it is for the entire institution.

I hope this helps.

(edited at request of link owner)

Last edited by Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames; 12/19/12 08:00 PM.
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In addition to accreditation of the whole school, look at the requirements for professional accreditation. For example, many companies will not hire a librarian who did't graduate from a American Library Assoc. accredited program.


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Oh yes, that's true, i forgot to mention the various professional accreditations or specialized accreditation that either accredit specific kinds of schools, colleges, trade and technical schools etc.

(edited at request of link owner)

Last edited by Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames; 12/19/12 08:01 PM.

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