When you’re seeking out a higher education institution, you have plenty of options, and there are lots of factors to consider.
It’s important to find a university that aligns with your values, offers the degree you’re interested in, and can provide exemplary learning opportunities, but there’s one more thing you should consider, too: accreditation. Read on to answer your most common questions about this important piece of the higher education puzzle.
Regional Accreditation vs. National Accreditation
At the higher education level, accreditation is a process completed by a specific governing body that analyzes the educational standards and coursework of every university to determine whether or not it can be accredited. Universities can be nationally or regionally accredited, and – contrary to how it may sound – regional accreditation is actually a more rigorous process than national accreditation.
Universities that are regionally accredited are considered to have better educational quality and are more likely to help graduates achieve success in the future. Universities that are regionally accredited will usually accept credits from other regionally accredited schools, but NOT from nationally accredited schools.
The Process of Regional Accreditation
To understand the power of regional accreditation, we have to dive into what the accreditation process is and who is in charge of it. Regional Accreditation is considered the highest form of accreditation and is overseen by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which partners with six large regional accrediting institutions in the United States.
These accrediting institutions are responsible for reviewing the accreditation applications of every university that voluntarily applies. The review process is filled with a detailed investigation into the quality of the coursework and the standards of each university. It’s not easy to get accredited and once accredited, universities must undergo reviews every five to ten years to maintain their status.
It’s important to find a university that aligns with your values, offers the degree you’re interested in, and can provide exemplary learning opportunities, but there’s one more thing you should consider, too: accreditation.
Accreditation’s Financial Impact on Students
Only students attending accredited universities can use federal subsidies, such as federal loans, to help pay for their education. This is one of the reasons why accreditation is so important. The U.S. Department of Education allows both nationally and regionally accredited institutions to qualify for federal subsidies. Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) is a regionally accredited university, meaning that we provide our students with a top-tier education and do our part to ensure they can get the financial help they need to earn their degree.
Can Accreditation Impact Job Prospects?
Absolutely! However, nationally accredited institutions tend to be for trade or vocational jobs, while regionally accredited are required for most modern professional jobs. OKWU is committed to helping our students achieve their dreams, and part of that is maintaining our regional accreditation. It’s something we take seriously.
OKWU is Waiting for You!
Our online coursework and flexible enrollment options mean that you can start classes year-round and join our faith-based, student-focused, accredited university. We take pride in providing flexible learning opportunities so you can access the skills you’ll need from anywhere. Unlocking your future is just one step away, and we can’t wait to take that step with you! Visit our GPS page to look into our programs and learn more about our university.