Credibility, Recognition & Accreditation

Credibility -The Bigger Picture

by John Mason Principal ACS Distance Education

At the end of the day, the most successful education has to be the one that best prepares you for the future. We believe that the "learning experience" should always be the main focus.

Over 30 years in education we have discovered some truths about credibility, recognition and accreditation.

  • The most credible courses are those that bring about a positive long term change in a student's capacity to function in the real world
  • Most students over rate accreditation.
  • Most employers (or business clients) are more concerned about how well a graduate can perform than whether their education was accredited.
  • Often the only significant advantage to choosing an accredited  course may be to get government funding. You have to wonder though -what is the reason for studying; and shouldn't your choice of course be determined by what is the best education rather than if I can be funded.
  • Some accreditation costs colleges a lot of money; and as a result, sometimes courses with lots of accreditation may be spending a lot less of your fees on actually giving you an education.
  • Accreditation systems usually restrict a college's capacity to change. This stops poor mediocre courses from getting worse; but it can also stop good courses from getting better.
  • Sometimes accreditation systems put so much effort into getting the bureaucracy and student assessments right, that their attention is diverted from the teaching and learning.

Some institutions appear good because they spend lots of money advertising themselves; others may seem good because they have lots of accreditations. But the institutions that are really good, are those that always put the student and learning ahead of these things, concentrating on good staff, good student support services, and producing graduates with the best education.

A college which focuses

first and foremost on providing the best education,

is more likely to produce the most successful graduates.