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BE AWARE OF ACCREDITATION SCAMS! 

Yes it is all about scamming to make a quick buck using quality benchmarks of accreditation  riding on credible accreditation systems of worth.  Gullible  schools keen on riding the bandwagon of "global quality" and International accreditation become easy target for these scamsters who  print and provide extremely glossy  display certificates  for a fraction of the cost to get an international accreditation certification. Of course the schools would  lose its credibility with its stakeholders by displaying such dubious credentials in their communication and home page.

HOW NOT TO FALL INTO THE ACCREDITATION SCAM 

Simple thumb rule to follow is check how much time you take to get a certification? The longer it is recommended more credible it gets. Also find out whether there is a graded quality intervention over a period supervised by mentors and accreditation advisory team from the accrediting agency. Isnt this so difficult before committing your hard earned investment?

Be  aware that like in most  sectors, even in International Accreditation there are different players  answering different sets of quality and utility.  You will appreciate that accreditation is  a process  and  it should grow the school  from point A to point B  before the school is recognised and certified as being accredited by the mentoring institution.

 

The process is carried out through strict supervision from external faculty mentor backed by a peer  team of experts  drawn from around the world.  The peer visit also happens  at the end of the  accreditation cycle which may  happen between two to seven year period depending upon the accreditation agency processes you choose and also your own state of preparedness to seek accreditation. 

Given all the above any accreditation system  promising to give accreditation on a single inspection based on the data you supply  amounts to nothing more than Ranking and Rating by media at best.  Besides the accrediting agency has to be first validated and recognised by a neutral or government authority which is not the case with the accreditation system you cited.  Please look up the CHEA  link in USA for hotlisted  accreditation agency for your information. 

Consequences of not using a legitimate accreditation body can very serious as accreditation is the route through with much of the regulatory system around the world works. 

You can also the status of  any accreditation agency of doubtful standing in the following link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unrecognized_higher_education_accreditation_organizations

The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) is a world-wide association of organisations that is active in the theory and practice of quality assurance (QA) in higher education (HEIs) in their weblink have the following to say about accreditation mills:

 

Quality assurance agencies in higher education exist for many purposes. One area of their responsibility is checking that institutions or programs meet certain criteria, requirements or standards, or achieve certain levels of performance. This task is commonly called accreditation, but other terms exist, such as assessment, licensure, recognition, authorisation, etc. Accreditation checks can be mandated by government or required by other organisations, and can be for the purpose, inter alia, of

  • triggering funding of an institution or program

  • enabling students to receive grants and loans

  • recognising degrees and diplomas by the government

  • authorising employment of graduates

  • preventing or closing an institution

The accreditation process is intended to prevent the creation or continuation of poor quality programs or institutions, and hence it is a consumer protection mechanism. Some institutions are genuine but of poor quality, and some institutions (often called degree mills or diploma mills) purport to provide qualifications, at a price, but the qualification is worthless because the ‘institution’ requires insufficient – perhaps no – work to achieve it.

Council for Higher education accreditation while posing the question How can I determine if an institution or program is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization? has the following observation. 

“Accreditation” is a process of external quality review used by higher education to scrutinize colleges, universities and educational programs for quality assurance and quality improvement. In the United States, accreditation is carried out by private, non-profit organizations designed for this specific purpose. Institutions and educational programs seek accredited status as a means of demonstrating their academic quality to students and the public and to become eligible for federal funds. Please visit the CHEA pages for more details 

Why Is College Accreditation Important?

College accreditation is important for many reasons, including:

  • Quality Assurance

    Accredited schools and programs undergo a strict evaluation and monitoring process by the accrediting agency. Accreditation ensures schools and programs meet a high standard and encourages and rewards their improvement and further development.

  • Financial Aid

    To limit the reach of diploma mills, the government began restricting federal financial aid to accredited institutions in the mid-20th century. Most scholarships and employer tuition reimbursement programs apply only to accredited schools and programs.

  • Acceptance

    Accredited schools and programs lead to qualifications that employers and other educational institutions recognize and respect. Depending on your field, accredited credentials may qualify you for industry certifications or state licensure. In most cases, the credits you earn can also transfer to other accredited institutions.

Spotting Fake Accrediting Agencies

While you should always look for accreditation, you must also discern between legitimate and illegitimate accrediting agencies. Be wary of accreditation mills — organizations that work in tandem with diploma mills and offer illegitimate accreditation for a fee.

These organizations often go under familiar names and use the proper terminology. For example, they'll use terms like "council" and "association." They may even list reputable institutions among their members to give them a veneer of legitimacy.

But don't let this fool you. Legitimate accrediting agencies must be approved and recognized by the CHEA and/or ED. Without proper recognition, accreditation may be meaningless.

Online Colleges vs. Diploma Mills

Since most diploma mills operate online, you should be extra cautious when searching for online colleges. However, don't let that scare you off of online colleges altogether. There are many accredited online schools and programs from some of the most reputable institutions in the world.

When looking for a legitimate online school, look for the following things, and you should have no problem avoiding the diploma mills:

  • Accreditation from a CHEA and/or ED-approved accrediting agency

  • Access to federal financial aid

  • Extensive course and curriculum descriptions

  • Faculty and facility information

  • Per-credit or per-semester tuition prices

  • A physical U.S.-based address

  • Credentials that qualify for you for post-graduate certification or licensure

I hope the above information was useful to you.  For more details and clarifications please mail us and also join the SEAA Forum, the meeting place for minds focusing on Global quality standards 

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