Meet the AccreditorsThe Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) is commonly referred to as a “national accreditor.” They are a single organization that focuses on accrediting distance learning schools throughout the United States.
The regional accreditors are a network of six organizations, each focusing on a specific region of the United States. Regional accreditors grant approval to brick-and-mortar schools as well as online schools.
What National Accreditation and Regional Accreditation Have in CommonWhether you choose a school with national accreditation or regional accreditation, you can rest assured that your degree is legitimate. Both forms of accreditation are recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Federal financial aid is available to students attending schools with either form of accreditation.
The DETC and all of the regional accrediting boards complete a thorough evaluation before granting accreditation to any school.
How National Accreditation and Regional Accreditation Are DifferentRegional accreditation is the most commonly accepted form of accreditation. Because most brick-and-mortar colleges are accredited by a regional organization, they tend to be more accepting of transcripts and degrees that come from regionally accredited online schools. Some employers also prefer degrees from regionally accredited schools.
The DETC is a newer accreditor. Degrees from nationally accredited schools are becoming more acceptable both in the educational community and in the workplace. According to a 2006 DETC survey, 70% of graduates from DETC accredited schools who attempted to transfer credits or degrees were successful. Schools in the Higher Education Transfer Alliance have agreed to consider transcripts from both regionally and nationally accredited programs. However, it is important to remember that some colleges have policies to only accept transfers from regionally accredited schools.