Standards, guidelines and policies to determine academic quality are in place for scrutinizing graduate program distance learning, just as they are at ground schools. The 17 institutional accrediting organizations that review institutions offering distance learning programs or courses actively apply these standards or guidelines in their review. Where appropriate, accrediting organizations modify and expand practices to address unique features of distance learning.

The Distance Education Training Council (DETC) accredits online and distance learning classes at the graduate level. A DETC accreditation does not guarantee access to federal financial aid and does not follow the same evaluation criteria as regional accreditation, but it does work to create standards for online and distance education providers.

Back to: Understanding Accreditation at the Graduate Level