Distance College Degrees Receive Focus
Distance college degree programs, such as online courses, are becoming more popular as students look for alternative means of education. Part of the reason is so students can choose how and when they will attend class, making it easier to have a job and study when they aren't working. Unfortunately, some colleges are finding problems with their accreditation and getting focus in a negative light. One specific instance, is in the case of a private Ohio college that has been discontinued by national accreditation organizations who questioned how their business is run.
About Online College Degrees
Distance degree programs, also called online degree programs, let you earn a college degree without having to attend classes. It is beneficial for many reasons. Perhaps you are a parent and need to be home with your kids, or have a full time job and need to study around your work. If you want to earn a degree that isn't available at nearby colleges or you don't have proper transportation to a university near you, distance education is highly useful. The problem is that many of the distance colleges aren't properly accredited, or they end up losing their accreditation. So you definitely need to do your research before choosing a college.
Colleges Attempting to Introduce Online Programs
Schools dedicated solely to online education aren't the only ones wanting to provide online degree programs; other colleges and universities are doing the same. These colleges are discovering the many benefits to online education and why their prospective students would be interested in studying online. So many colleges are introducing online programs and getting their accreditation, but then they risk not keeping it. Just because your college has an accredited degree program, doesn't mean they are always up to par with national or international standards.
The Problem with Accreditation
The main problem with accreditation is that some schools are partnering up with companies that offer online education options. Instead of handling the distance education themselves, they are outsourcing in a way to these other companies that help take care of the online degree programs. But then those other programs are found to have insufficient business models and the college ends up losing their distance education accreditation. Such is the case with Tiffin University from Ohio and Altius Education from San Francisco, both of which were using the Ivy Bridge online degree program. Ivy Bridge lost their accreditation, so both of these colleges lost their online college programs.
While this concern shouldn't deter colleges from offering distance college degrees, it should be a warning that they need to do their research for online degree programs. Many schools still partner with companies, such as Academic Partnerships and Minerva Project, that have a good reputation and they need to be careful. As a student, find out as much information as you can about the online degree program before you sign up for it. Don't just find out about accreditation of your college, but of the companies they partner with and the degree program itself.