ERIC Number: ED464585
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Distance Education Accreditation Standards According to the Regional Accreditation Commissions.
Flango, Vincent E.
The purpose of this study was to compile and analyze the distance learning accreditation policies for higher education according to the six regional accreditation commissions. A self-report survey mailed to the directors of the six regional accrediting commissions was completed by all the commissions: (1) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; (2) New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Higher Education; (3) Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Colleges; (4) Western Association of Colleges, Association of Colleges; (5) Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education; and (6) North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Institutions of Higher Learning. All the commissions rely on the Guidelines for Distance Education, an expansion of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education principles, as the base for their accreditation policies. Current distance education, responses make clear, is trying to adjust to the recent explosion of Web-based instruction. Commissions have set differing guidelines that contain differing degrees of detail. The largest gap in policy among the commissions currently is whether to accredit the distance programs within the normal institutional review, treat them as separate from usual accreditation processes, or combine the two approaches. All commissions agreed that distance education is expanding rapidly, and all agree that flexibility in policy is absolutely essential in adjusting to the constant growth of technology in education. Some recommendations are made for improving the accreditation of distance education programs. Three appendixes contain the survey and supporting materials used in the study. (Contains 25 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Science Research Paper, Southern Illinois University.