Dr. Jayne Pelletier is the former Director of Accreditation and Policy for the College of Graduate and Professional Studies (CGPS) at the University of New England. This position oversees accreditation and policy development to support the operational and academic processes of online programs.
The Director of Accreditation and Policy makes sure that CPGS is compliant with accreditation standards so that we can provide an outstanding education to students.
This post is part of a series where we delve deeper into the details of the accreditation process. We first asked what goes on inside the accreditation process.
Here’s more from Dr. Pelletier on the importance of accreditation:
The short answer? Quality control. Accreditation is a process in which institutions of learning are evaluated against a certain set of standards with the goal of effectiveness, improvement, and public assurance. It establishes a level of acceptable quality while respecting the unique missions of the institutions involved.
Many students don’t understand the importance of accreditation. If a student’s high school is not accredited, opportunities for a post-secondary education may be severely limited. The same may be said for an undergraduate degree. Students who attend a college or university that is not accredited may find that opportunities to pursue graduate education may be compromised.
When a student applies for one of UNE’s master’s programs from a regionally accredited college, admissions representatives know that in order to graduate, the student had to meet a set of rigorous standards. With this knowledge of quality assurance, the admissions committee can review additional materials in the application packet and move forward from there with an assessment of the student and his or her potential fit at UNE.
Read more: NECHE (NEASC) Accredited – what it means & why it’s important
The danger of taking classes from an institution that is not regionally accredited is that classes a student takes are unlikely to transfer. It’s possible that a student might go on to matriculate at a nationally accredited school, but it is important to recognize that doing so severely limits one’s options.
For instance, if an individual’s goal is to continue on to earn a terminal degree at some point, that person’s graduate degree must be from an accredited university. Choosing to attend a non-accredited school means that potentially much time and money have been spent without reaching an important goal.
The best accreditation really depends on the industry. Regional accreditation at the university level is important, but so is program-specific accreditation.
Unaccredited schools and universities usually are not held to the same educational standards and policies as accredited schools are held. Employers are more likely to be interested in hiring individuals with a degree from an institution that is accredited and recognized, making one more attractive in the job market.
Institutions that are regionally accredited are not always nonprofit; institutions can be public, private, nonprofit, and for-profit. Accreditation provides a process for meaningful improvement while honoring the unique culture and context of the institution
If you are interested in pursuing an online graduate degree or if you’re simply interested in discussing your options, please reach out to an Enrollment Counselor at (855) 325-0896 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, fill out an online application today at online.une.edu/gateway-portal-page – we look forward to hearing from you!Tags: accreditation | NEASC | NEASC Accreditation
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