Abraham Lincoln University is a nationally-accredited distance learning institution, with the school’s accreditation coming from the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (www.detc.org). The Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
DETC is a national accrediting body. Colleges and universities are usually either regionally or nationally accredited, with regional accreditation organizations being based on location, and national accreditation organizations based on the types of schools they accredit—in the case of the DETC, distance learning institutions.
There are a number of myths about national accrediting organizations in general and the DETC in particular. Learning the truth about DETC accreditation and the standards used for schools that fall under the DETC umbrella is important when making a decision about which school to attend. Here are just a few of the popular misconceptions about national accrediting organizations in general and the DETC in particular.
Regional Accreditation is More Rigorous than DETC Accreditation
The truth of the matter is that DETC accreditation is no less rigorous than regional accreditation; it is just different. Because regional accreditation is based on locality, it is actually less specific in a number of ways than national accreditation, based on the type of institution. The DETC’s accreditation process is aimed solely at the distance education enterprise, emphasizing not only the curriculum but the quality of the programs and the demonstration of student learning.
DETC Credits are Not Transferable to Traditional Colleges
Conventional wisdom often says that nationally accredited schools accept transfer credits from both other nationally accredited schools and regionally accredited schools, while regionally accredited schools do not accept transfer credits from nationally accredited schools. The conventional wisdom, as in many cases, is incorrect and based on assumptions which are often untrue. The standard principles of good practice for transfer credits maintain that the transfer of credit from one institution to another is always left up to the discretion of the receiving institution—transfer of credit is never guaranteed by any reputable institution.
Transfer should also not solely be denied on the bases of the source of the sending institution’s accreditation. With institutions that follow these best practices, the acceptance of nationally accredited school credits is generally high. DETC graduates who attempted to transfer credits report they were successful 70% of the time.
DETC Online Programs are of Lesser Quality Than Those of Regionally Accredited Institutions
The majority of DETC institutions use the same learning management platforms, textbooks, and faculty credentials as regionally accredited institutions. DETC institutions are required to annually report student satisfaction. In 2009, 97% of students “achieved, or will have achieved upon completing [their] studies, the goals [they] had when starting the course or program.”
Regional Accrediting Groups are More Experienced Evaluating Distance Learning
DETC is recognized nationally by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in the same manner as regional accrediting bodies. Because the DETC’s sole function is to evaluate distance education programs, its standards and practices have become the norm for accrediting distance learning programs.
The myths and conventional wisdom about the DETC are often the result of biases against distance learning in general. The fact of the matter is, though, that the World Wide Web has expanded the possibilities for distance learning greatly, and more and more students are turning to online schools for education and training. There is no reason to discount a school, especially one primarily based in online distance learning, because its major accreditation comes from DETC. Here’s why:
- DETC accredited institutions must deliver on their promises of student satisfaction to maintain accreditation with the Council.
- DETC accreditation means that knowledgeable educators and potential employers have reviewed the institution to ensure programs offer students a quality education that will fulfill their educational goals
- DETC has helped countless hundreds of institutions improve their offerings and touched the lives of millions of students over its 85 years in existence. The DETC will make sure institutions and students alike are treated fairly.
Abraham Lincoln University is proud to be accredited by the DETC and to maintain the standards of curricula and student satisfaction that stamp of approval means. For more information on the online distance learning programs available from the University, visit www.alu.edu or call Admissions at (866) 558-0999.