With the proliferation of online education providers, it pays to be knowledgeable to ensure that you get the education from the best providers. It is reported that there are more than 300 unaccredited universities now operating. In addition, it is even said that it is normal for a large fake school to grant as many as 500 PhDs in a month. With the presence of many diploma mills which will sell degrees to anyone willing to pay, there is thus a greater need to equip oneself with the knowledge in assessing online education providers.
First and foremost, you ought to check whether the institution is formally accredited. If the institution is approved by either the United States Department of Education (USDE) or Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), you can be assured that this institution has passed strict inspection and the degree programs are of good quality. The following are the agencies offer the most accepted form of accreditation in the nation: The Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It should be noted that both Universal Council for Online Education Accreditation (UCOEA) and Board of Online Universities Accreditation (BOUA) are not legitimate accreditation bodies.
Moreover, you should evaluate the school’s teaching faculty by checking what percentage of the teaching staff has doctorate degrees or master degrees. You should also check how credits will be granted to you as you do not want an institution that grants credits solely based on your experience, which is characteristic of diploma mills.
Furthermore, you should also inspect how the course is delivered. You would of course opt for one where the course is presented in rich multimedia using video, audio, virtual labs, interactive activities and others instead of one that is purely text-based. Student support is also of vital importance. The institution should at best provide support through many media such as live chat, phone, e-mail or web conferencing.