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What Does Accredited Mean?

ac·cred·it·ed/əˈkreditid/

Adjective:
(of a person, organization, or course of study) Officially recognized or authorized: “an accredited online high school”.

If you’ve done any research regarding online school, you’ve probably seen the word “Accredited” or “Accreditation” come up.  Schools make a big deal about it, but is it really a big deal?

The answer is yes.

Accreditation is very important.  But why?  What does it mean?  Can anyone be accredited?  Read on for the answers to these questions.

What Does Accreditation Mean?

In general terms, accreditation is a process of being certified as a credible and authentic entity.  Many fields have accreditation processes such as businesses, personal trainers, insurance companies, and more.  Depending on what type of organization you are, you receive accreditation from different sources.

For example, businesses are often accredited by the BBB (Better Business Bureau).

Being accredited means an organization has proven itself as a legitimate establishment in their field.  In some fields, such as education, it is not a quick process nor is it an easy process.  Strict standards must be met.

Many factors are taken into account and changes might have to be made.  For most, however, this process is definitely worth it.

How Does Accreditation Work?

In the case of a school, you are dealing with educational accreditation.  Educational accreditation works through a peer review process.  Different organizations evaluate different schools depending on where they’re located and what affiliations they might have.

Accredited schools as well as the organizations accrediting them are typically recognized by the State.  When looking at schools, it’s important to not only check whether or not they’re accredited by who they are accredited by.

For example, Excel High School is accredited by AdvancED and the North Central Association CASI.  Both of these organizations are recognized by CHEA, the State Department, and the US Department of Education.

That means an Excel High School diploma is worth something in the eyes of employers and colleges.

The Important of Educational Accreditation

When a school is accredited, it doesn’t just affect them; it also affects how they interact with other organizations.  That’s what makes it so important that a school is accredited.  If your school isn’t accredited by a reputable source, an education from them won’t do you much good in the real world.

So as you continue to explore online education, don’t just check to see if they’re accredited.  Take a look at who they’ve been accredited through.

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