For over 50 years, the Distance Education Training Council (DETC) has been reviewing and accrediting distance learning schools. Although it is recognized by the United States Department of Education, the DETC has faced notable resistance from regionally accredited schools that refuse to accept transcripts from high schools and colleges ...
For over 50 years, the Distance Education Training Council (DETC) has been reviewing and accrediting distance learning schools. Although it is recognized by the United States Department of Education, the DETC has faced notable resistance from regionally accredited schools that refuse to accept transcripts from high schools and colleges accredited by the DETC to business plan writing services .
Distance Education Training Council’s CEO Michael P. Lambert shares his knowledge about the accrediting association, its achievements, and its struggle with regionally accredited institutions.
Why would a school decide to seek DETC accreditation rather than regional accreditation?
DETC is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). But, so are other accrediting associations.
DETC has been a leader in the field of distance learning for 80 years. In that period, it has forged a defined, discernable corporate culture, has developed a large body of literature, and has perfected a sound and pragmatic approach to the distance study accreditation. DETC still has in its ranks institutions that were around at the founding of DETC in 1926, like Penn Foster College and Art Instruction Schools. So applicants who come to DETC soon find out that there is a deep understanding of the unique requirements and an appreciation of the unique challenges that face the distance educator.
More importantly, they realize that DETC provides a sophisticated and well-developed network of experts in the distance method that—if they can gain accreditation—they can have ready access to. They quickly discern the esprit d’corps in DETC and the open sharing among the professionals in the group. There is a deep reservoir of knowledge in the DETC group that anyone can see.
Are any schools accredited by both the DETC and a regional accrediting board?
Yes. At the degree level, there are two: Western Governors University and American Military University.
At the high school level, there are 8 DETC schools with dual accreditation with one of the various regionals.
DETC has recently signed a memorandum with the Middle States Association, Commission on Secondary Schools, to provide dual accreditation to any high school or non-degree DETC school in the MSA service region. To date, four institutions are dually accredited by MSA and DETC.
Not all regionally accredited schools accept credits from DETC accredited schools. The DETC website suggests that such rejections may be due to the “anti-competitive business practices of the receiving institution.” Please explain .
After spending my professional life in the field of higher education and after serving on over 400 onsite accreditation committees, I have been in a position to appreciate that there is little justification for any university or college to refuse to accept credits in transfer based solely on the source of the accreditation of the sending institution.
When you look at the reasons provided by a college for rejecting DETC credits, “That it is not offered by a regionally accredited institution,” their reasons boil down to prejudice, ignorance or anti-competitiveness. Or better put, it is the result that the receiving institution person simply does not accept DETC accreditation as being legitimate, despite what the Secretary of Education or CHEA has decided.
The challenge DETC graduates face in transferring credits is to convince the receiving institution that their academic work is truly legitimate. I am happy to say that of the DETC graduates who try to transfer their credits, about 70% are successful today. This percentage will continue to increase as we and our institution alumni are able to convince the skeptics that DETC accreditation is “real” accreditation and that they can place their faith in it. We are getting there every day. I write dozens of emails and letters every month to registrars and Deans and we are nearly always successful in convincing them that accepting DETC accreditation is a low risk, high payoff decision for them.
Do the majority of employers view DETC accreditation as equal to regional accreditation?
Clearly, the vast majority does view DETC as being equal, and they vote with their dollars, since DETC institutions are routinely accepted for the tuition reimbursement programs in most corporations today. And DETC surveys of employers and job supervisors indicate that employers who respond to us are nearly 100% satisfied with their employees who have earned a DETC degree.
Are students that attend schools accredited by the DETC eligible for financial aid and student loans such as federal Stafford loans?
Yes. Effective July 1, 2006, students attending a qualified “telecommunications” institution became eligible to receive federal student aid. DETC institutions are now [able to] apply to the Department of Education to get eligible to administer the programs and it will be at least six more months for them to start to participate in the federal aid programs.