Accredited Online Degrees

Feuding Accreditation Agencies Cause Problems for Students

Accredited online degrees are not all the same.

Well, here's a story about a Goliath (regionally accredited schools) and a midget (Distance Education Training Council).

Oh. The little guy wins in the end.

A fight? Yeah, a feud... And it's been going on for nearly fifty years. Phew!

Here's the story...
The DETC (Distance Education Training Council) has been around, like I said, for fifty plus years. It is an organization that accredits - surprise - Distance Education Institutions.

An example would be an incredibly, awesome school like Westlawn Institute which has been teaching yacht design, by correspondence, since 1930.

The deal is that up until July 1, 2006, even though the DETC is (and always has been) fully recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and more recently, by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation - none of the DETC member organizations have been eligible to establish federal financial aid programs.

The upshot is -- DETC member, accredited online degrees -- up until now, have been completely student financed - severely limiting the average student's choice of program.

And even worse, those schools who are regionally accredited - like say... oh, the University of Minnesota - more often than not - refuse to accept any credits for transfer from a tiny, little DETC school.

So even though both schools offer fully accredited online degrees the larger schools refuse to acknowledge the smaller, less well funded schools.
ufda! Is that fair?

No, not really. But each school has autonomy over their credit transfer policy and the DETC has always been the 'poor relative' amongst accrediting institutions of higher education. Some people have even hinted that the major colleges refuse to accept DETC member credits because they don't want the competition. Meaning it comes down to - surprise again! - money.

What does all this mean to the lowly student, who just wants to learn, get a degree and get on with life. -- Maybe, build a yacht or two.

It means two things...

1. Tread carefully when you decide to go with a DETC accredited school - your credits may not transfer to a larger college or university - at least without a fight.

2. More and more wonderful schools like Westlawn are going to be offering Federal Financial Aid - opening up great online college opportunities - for you!

DETC member schools offer online accredited degrees - fully sanctioned by the Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. They are no longer the poor relative, but with the advent of the internet, have come full circle into their own. Don't be afraid to explore the opportunities they offer, just plan carefully - as the larger, regionally accredited colleges are still giving them a jaundiced eye.

Here is a link to the DETC directory of member schools.