College Accreditation Research Paper

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Marketing Research
Accreditation Research Project
April 25, 2011

Being accredited is how an institution is recognized as a university having a legitimate degree program. The value of the degree you receive is based upon accreditation, college ranking, and the perception of the institutions image in organizations and society. As my problem statement I would like to find out what the value of accreditation is, what it takes to become accredited, maintain accreditation, and why some degrees from accredited institutions are not recognized by other institutions and business organizations. Some research objectives I would like to achieve would be to find out if the loss of credits in the transfer from school to school is due to different accreditation standards in the different accreditation organizations. Also, with comparing accredited schools, does the rank of the school make the degree received more or less valuable? Another objective is to find out what makes a degree from one accredited school more valuable than a degree from another accredited school. And finally, I would like to find out if a degree from a non-traditional school is less valuable than a degree from a traditional “Brick and Mortar” school. To solve my problem statement and answer my research objectives I will be conducting exploratory research using secondary data.

All schools in the United States that are accredited, or are seeking accreditation must go through their regional accreditation organization. There are six regional accreditation organizations and many others that oversee accreditation globally. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCAHLC) is the organization that oversees the accreditation for NSU. Not only do the six regional organizations overlook the colleges but also organizations that accredit schools for business programs as well; such as, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The standards that each college is reviewed upon are the overall mission of the college, objectives and goals, student requirements for admission, services available to students, quality of education, the reputation of their faculty, expected student achievement, curriculum, research activities, financial and academic support, and financial capacity of the institution. All accredited schools must continually renew their accreditation to maintain the certification.

Distance learning type colleges are becoming more and more popular every day. As the younger generations who are more experienced and comfortable with computers are getting older, the convenience of getting a degree online – on your own time – is becoming very popular. Many people have the connotation that this type of degree is not legitimate and is just taking the easy road; this however is not true. There are countless online “colleges” you can get a degree from that are not legitimate (degree and diploma mills), where you can basically purchase a degree from them with substandard or no academic study at all and receive your diploma in the mail. However, there are many distance learning universities that are highly acclaimed and very much so legitimate institutions. One of which is the University of Phoenix, which is the largest and most respected distance learning institution in the industry, with over 200 campuses worldwide. They let you earn your degree on your terms. They have online classes available in addition to being able to go to a local campus for class as well. Blended courses are also available to offer the best of both worlds. The University of Phoenix has a goal of accessibility to higher education, flexible scheduling, centralized curriculum design, all while providing you with an exceptional education. The University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. They are also accredited by the Accreditation Council...
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