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ERIC Number: ED495650
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar-5
Pages: 28
Abstractor: Author
Distance Education and the Six Regional Accrediting Commissions: A Comparative Analysis
Howell, Scott L.; Baker, Katherine; Zuehl, Jennett; Johansen, Justin
Online Submission
Background: The last comparative analysis of how the six regional accrediting commissions review distance education programs was conducted in 2000. A few months later in March 2001 all six accrediting bodies did something that they hadn't done before, they adopted common standards for reviewing distance education programs. Purpose: The purpose was to reexamine seven years later those review policies and practices used by all six regional accrediting bodies for distance education programs following the 2000 study and also the March, 2001 adoption of common standards known as "Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degrees and Certificate Programs." Study Sample: All six regional accrediting bodies or commissions. Control or Comparison Condition: The entire population of all six regional accrediting bodies were compared. Findings: While all six regional accrediting bodies had acknowledged their adoption of common distance education standards in 2001, there remains unevenness today (2007) among the six in how much they promote the standards and use them to review their distance education programs. However, the disparity among the accrediting bodies is less than it was in the 2000 study, and, increasingly, the accrediting commissions are distinguishing less and less among distance education and traditional programs. Conclusion: Distance education programs are more commonplace today at postsecondary institutions. Regional accrediting bodies are also more in agreement as to what standards and best practices should characterize quality programs since the last comparative analysis was conducted. Furthermore, the accrediting commissions appear to be singling distance education programs out less than they were in the former analysis and reviewing them more as an integral part of the comprehensive institutional review that is focusing more on learning outcomes and less on delivery methods. Citation: Howell, S., Baker, K., Zuehl, J., and J. Johansen. (2007). Distance education and the six regional accrediting commissions: A comparative analysis. (ERIC Database Accession No. ED495650). (Contains 7 tables.)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A