Universal Council for Online Education Accreditation receives frequent inquiries from the colleges, universities and other sources about its accreditation procedure and its intricacies. Below are answers given to some of the frequently asked questions; however if you require any further information, you may contact the Council Office at [email protected].

Q. What is Distance Education?

A. Distance education is any learning that takes place with the instructor and student geographically remote from each other. This instructional delivery system connects learners with educational resources and provides educational access to learners not enrolled in educational institutions.

Distance Education usually takes place when the teacher and the student(s) are separated by physical distance, and technology (i.e., voice, video, data, and print), is used to bridge the instructional gap.

Today courses are offered for academic, professional, and vocational purposes for students of all ages. Distance education is available in practically any field, while the courses also vary greatly in scope, level, and length. Some have a few assignments and require only a few months to complete, while others have a hundred or more lesson assignments requiring about three or four years of conscientious study.

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Q. What Does Accreditation Mean?

A. Accreditation is a system or process for providing public confidence and a tool for improvement used by educational institutions. It promises a basic level of quality in an educational institution through a process that examines a school's faculty, course content, recruiting practices, admissions procedures, and more.

The purpose of accreditation is:

To ensure quality education programs through the use of standards and rigorous ††††evaluation criteria;
To stimulate institutions toward higher levels of quality and efficiency;
To provide a system for public trust and accountability;

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Q. Why Become Accredited?

A. Accreditation is a process through which educational institutions voluntarily participate in a recognition program that is administered according to standards established by agencies composed of educational experts. If an institution meets the standards set down by the agency, it is acknowledged with accreditation status.

Accreditation provides the institutes an opportunity to improve thier educational quality. It provides a means of evaluating and comparing your courses/programs, facilities, and procedures with those of others. It involves a process whereby an accrediting body grants public recognition to an institution as having met certain standards. However, the greatest value of accreditation is to be found in undergoing the process itself, a process of self-evaluation in which an institution voluntarily monitors and controls its own behavior to ensure that its programs and policies embody standards of good practice.

Accreditation is purely voluntary. The applicant institution voluntarily elects to apply for accreditation and it voluntarily agrees to comply with all standards and policies of the Council.

Accreditation is a non-governmental peer review process in which the integrity and good faith of an institution and its officers are essential.

Institution must prove to the Accrediting Council that it meets or exceeds the standards.

The Accrediting Council considers information about an applicant institution from any source in reaching its conclusion.

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Q. How institutions are granted accreditation?

A. To gain accreditation, an institution first conducts an internal survey to measure its criteria against the standards set by UCOEA. The agency then holds an evaluation process and either grants or denies accreditation or pre-accreditation status.

If awarded fully accredited status, the Council will periodically re-evaluate the institution. The length of the initial accreditation ranges from 18 months to several years.

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Q. Does accreditation guarantee that credits and degrees can be transferred to another institution?

A. No. Transferability of credits and degrees is a matter determined by the institution receiving the credits. Transferability depends on several factors, among them are: the institution at which credits or degrees were earned, how well the credits offered for transfer mesh with the curriculum offered by the institution to which the student wishes to transfer, and how well the student performed in the courses. Therefore anyone planning to transfer credits should first consult the receiving institution about the transfer policies, if possible, before taking the courses.

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Q. Does the Council recommend colleges to students?

A.The selection of a college is an individual decision, based on each student's needs, interests and goals. There are so many institutions that are offering degrees in various fields that match the student's interest and abilities but all of them are not accredited. So with the help of UCOEA you can identify the qualified institutes among the many available online.

Click here to visit the Accredited Institutions Page.

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Does the Council maintain a record of the institutes which it accredits or is going to accredit? Is it viewable?

Yes, UCOEA maintains a comprehensive catalog of institutes that it accredits or is going to accredit. This catalog is viewable (see the link given underneath). The institutes recognized in this directory meet the eligibility criteria of UCOEA. The degrees and programs of these institutions are acknowledged as fully endorsed and accredited by UCOEA on the basis of their adherence to UCOEA curriculum guidelines.

Click here to view Catalog of UCOEA Accredited and Under Accreditation Institutes

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