Regional and national accreditation and your education path

I’m prompted to write about this because of the occasional unfortunate encounter when I have to inform someone inquiring about our programs that we cannot accept their bachelor’s degree because it is from a nationally and not a regionally accredited college or university. Accreditation is an important issue in choosing a program of study from the start. Anyone looking into an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program should research accreditation and what it means to the education path. Know that state and many private institutions do not accept credits from a nationally accredited college. If you complete part of a program and decide you want to transfer to, for example, a community or state college, you will be starting over, and still have to pay back student loans on that previous coursework.

If you do decide to attend a nationally accredited college, talk to their advisors about education pathways that may be possible before you enroll. Some regionally accredited universities will grant a certain amount of credit toward a bachelor’s degree if a student holds a professional license, such as in nursing, which one might attain after completing a nationally accredited program. Or if you are certain you will not want education beyond a bachelor’s degree it may not be an issue for you. This article by Steve Foerster on objectively explains the differences between national and regional accreditation. The section near the end “Issues to Consider” covers these important topics.


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