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The Importance of AccreditationIf you choose an online high school that isn't accredited, you may find that many colleges and businesses won't accept your diploma.
by Heather Brunson
Accreditation is one of the most important factors when selecting an online high school program. Parents and prospective students should do their homework to ensure that a particular school is accredited by the right type of agency.
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is the process of reviewing an online high school's programs and policies to see if it meets certain criteria, generally set by an outside agency. When a school is found to meet the minimum criteria, it is granted accreditation.
Why is accreditation important?
Accreditation is meant to protect students, schools, and employers. It ensures that an online high school is teaching its students at a nationally acceptable level. When students receive a diploma from an accredited high school, they can be assured that it will be recognized by colleges and accepted by employers. Likewise, when a college is accepting students or an employer is looking to hire, they can be assured that a student or prospective employee has received quality training from an accredited high school.
Who can grant accreditation?
The truth is anyone can claim to have the power to grant accreditation to schools. Be aware that not all accreditation is equal. Accreditation from the wrong source can be just as bad as no accreditation at all.
Be sure to check whether your school is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. You can visit the department's listings of national and regional accrediting agencies. You can also check with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CHEA is a non-government agency that recognizes accrediting agencies in the United States and helps to coordinate policy and research on accreditation issues.
What if my school isn't accredited?
If you choose an online high school that isn't accredited, you may find that many colleges and businesses won't accept your diploma. If you are taking a typing course, it might not matter. But if you are enrolling in an online high school program, you want the school to be accredited.
Take the necessary steps to protect your education. An online high school is designed to provide you with additional educational options, not to limit them.
Heather Brunson is a lead marketing writer for Allied Schools. She has a B.A. in Journalism with an emphasis on public relations. She has additional experience in technical writing.
Written by: Heather Brunson
10 July 2008