ERIC Number: ED476665
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Specialized Accreditation and Assuring Quality in Distance Learning. CHEA Monograph Series, 2002.
Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Washington, DC.
In summer 2002, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) surveyed 50 specialized (programmatic) accreditors to learn whether and to what extent these accreditors are involved in the accreditation of distance learning. Specialized accreditors review programs and freestanding schools in areas such as law, medicine, business, and nursing. "Distance learning" refers to educational or instructional activity that is delivered electronically to students at a distance. There are two findings of major significance in this review. First, only a modest number of programs reviewed by specialized accreditors are engaged in distance learning. Thirty-eight of the 50 accreditors indicate that some of their programs involve distance learning. Of the 12,838 programs accredited by these 38 organizations, 2,277 programs (17.7%) offer some instruction using distance learning. A second finding is that specialized accreditors report that they have limited need to develop separate standards, policies, and procedures. The major reason of this is their extensive use of competency-based accreditation standards to judge quality. The standards of specialized accreditors are focused first on the outcomes that students achieve and then on the resources and processes of a program. Specialized accreditors treat distance learning as a process or an alternative delivery system. Some examples of distance learning accreditation are provided. A list of specialized accreditors is included in an appendix. (SLD)
Descriptors: Accreditation (Institutions), Accrediting Agencies, Distance Education, Higher Education, Program Evaluation, Standards
For full text: http://www.chea.org/pdf/mono_2_spec-accred_02.pdf?pubID=246.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Hewlett Foundation, Inc., Garden City, NY.
Authoring Institution: Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Washington, DC.