There are many schools that offer online courses in a variety of subjects, but not all are accredited. Accreditation means that an educational authority recognized by the U.S. Department of Education has determined that programs at the school meet the authority's academic standards. Online course credits earned through accredited schools are more likely to be transferable to other schools.
Students can find schools offering accredited online courses by visiting individual school websites or by visiting the National Center for Education Statistics' College Navigator website, which is a search tool that allows students to search for schools based on location, degrees awarded and distance learning options, among other criteria. Additionally, accreditation status is listed in each school's profile.
Ensuring that a program is accredited is an essential step of the admissions process. Schools that lack accreditation may provide inferior education, and chances are higher that a degree from one of these schools will not be recognized by potential employers. In order to ensure that they receive a quality education and have quality job prospects, students should ensure that the school they choose to attend has been fully accredited.
Common Online Courses
While courses vary depending on school and major, a few examples of commonly offered courses include:
- Network Security: Students looking to study information technology and computer networks can expect to take courses related to security. In this course, students will be introduced to essential computer security principles and will explore why security is such a priority. More advanced topics in this course include technology evaluation, safeguard application, and risk management
- Computer Basics: Students from all programs can benefit greatly from a course in computer basics. This course gives students access to instruction and hands-on experience with the various types of software used in an office environment, including word processing, database, and spreadsheet applications.
- Economic Forecasting: Typically found in economics degree programs, these courses deal with forecasting, an important part of economics. Students in a forecasting course learn how to study economic trends and patterns and then make predictions and develop strategies based off of their analyses.
Online Accredited Schools
The following schools offer online programs and have been fully accredited:
|School Name||Accreditation||Programs Offered|
|Clemson||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools||Public administration, human development, industrial engineering|
|Ohio State University||North Central Association of Colleges and Schools||General education, agricultural teacher education, dental hygiene|
|McDaniel College||Middle States Commission on Higher Education||Gerontology, multicultural education, school librarian/library specialist|
|University of Minnesota-Duluth||North Central Association of Colleges and Schools||Psychology, business administration|
|University of Southern California||Western Association of Schools and Colleges||Construction management, chemical engineering|