Accreditation Commission

Accreditation is a process of recognizing educational institutions for performance, integrity, and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community and the public.

UCOEA has been operating since 1995 and performs a number of important functions, including the encouragement of efforts towards maximum educational effectiveness. The accrediting process requires institutions and programs to examine their own goals, operations, and achievements. It provides the expert criticism and suggestions of a visiting evaluation committee, and, later, the recommendations of the accrediting body. Since the accreditation is reviewed periodically, institutions are encouraged toward continued self-study and improvement.

The UCOEA Accrediting Commission identifies and accredits distance education and training institutions that have attained and maintained the standards deemed necessary to operate at a basic level of quality. Its accrediting program employs procedures similar to those of other acknowledged educational accrediting agencies.

Purpose of Accreditation:

Accreditation is intended to fulfill the following purposes:

a) Excellence in education through the development of criteria and guidelines for assessing educational effectiveness.

b) Encouraging institutional improvement of educational endeavors through continuous self-study and evaluation.

c) Assurance to the counselors, employers, educators, governmental officials, and the public, that an institution has clearly defined educational objectives and is accomplishing them substantially.

d) Counseling and assistance to established and developing institutions.

Powers and Responsibilities

The Council has the following powers and responsibilities:

a) Establishing and disseminating evaluation criteria for the accreditation of organizations offering online education.

b) Receiving applications from the institutions aspiring for accreditation.

c) Assigning experienced evaluators for a thorough evaluation of institutes.

d) Re-evaluating the accredited organizations' programs, changing policies, and courses of study at reasonable intervals.

e) Critically reviewing all the pertinent material provided by the applicant institutes and accredit or withhold accreditation if not fulfilling the established criteria.

f) Assuring the financial soundness of the Commission by establishing reasonable operating budget and a schedule of fees.

g) Accreditation by providing information on Council's accreditation procedures and criteria.

h) Educating public about the accredited institutes by issuing a directory of accredited organizations (UCOEA Directory of Accredited Institutions) and a Web site listing, identifying their course offerings.

i) Take decisions that are not subject to review or revision by the membership of the UCOEA or the Council's Board of Trustees.

Benefits for an Accredited Institute:

An Accredited institute receives the following benefits:

a) An external source of stimulation to improve its services, programs, and staff through periodic self-studies and evaluations by an outside agency.

b) Provides confidence to the counselors, employers, educators, governmental officials, and the public in the educational program, the policies, and the procedures of the institution.

c) Assures that the institute is meeting high educational standards and quality by adhering to the established criteria, policies, and standards established by the accreditation agency.

e) Expedites the acceptance of advertising by newspapers, magazines, radio; stations, and other advertising mediums.

f) Brings the institution recognition when several states under their legislation and regulations as well as local agencies refer students to accredited schools.

Allows listing the institution and its courses in the UCOEA Directory of Accredited Institutions.

h) Provides a unique professional development opportunity for the institution's staff members to serve on accrediting examining committees visiting other institutions.

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