As you begin shopping around for an online master’s degree program, it is very important to carefully research all of your options to ensure that your decision is a sound one. A great way to begin your research is to investigate online programs that are accredited.
The process of obtaining accreditation is an outward sign of a program's quality. Choosing an accredited program can boost your future earning potential and lower your chance of unemployment or underemployment. A resume that boasts reputable programs and employers goes a long way in establishing credibility and competence in this ultra-competitive job market.
Colleges and Universities are accredited by regional accreditation agencies, depending on location: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. These are all part of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Click here for a link to CHEA’s home page.
Accredited online programs afford students the following top three benefits:
- Approved curriculum and educational programs. Accreditation is an outward acknowledgement of quality. Undergoing the accreditation process requires universities to provide detailed evidence of the curriculum's quality and effectiveness. Each program, course, and learning outcome is analyzed for its comprehensive and correlated attributes. When a school gains accreditation, it is then tasked with vigorously upholding these standards of quality. Graduating from an accredited online education program is an assurance to future employers that the education you've received is one of high quality.
- Meet US Department of Education standards. Although the US Department of Education is not a central authority exercising national control over college(s) and universities, it does maintain a set of standards that accredited online education programs strive to meet. Accredited programs consistently strive to meet the high standards outlined by the Federal government. Credits earned from accredited online education programs have a greater potential to transfer to other institutions.
- Financial assistance options. Accredited online education programs offer a wide range of tuition assistance. Students of accredited online colleges and universities are typically eligible for the same grant and loan programs including Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal Work Study, and Academic Competitiveness Grants, as well as participating in assistance for military tuition and government reimbursement.
Marygrove College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) and is approved by the Michigan State Department of Education. For a full list of accreditation requirements and standards please visit the United States Department of Education website. You can also find a full list of accredited online universities and colleges via the Department's searchable database.
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