Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why Does Accreditation Matter?

Why Does Accreditation Matter?

In the active duty military post secondary world 10 colleges enroll just over 50% of all students (Hadley, 2010). Eight of the ten colleges have regional accreditation which is the accreditation that allows civilians to use government loans to attend college and this is extremely important. Most state and local governments require a regionally accredited degree in order to be hired. It is considered the gold standard of accreditation.

For example in N.Y State if you want to be a Division for Youth Health Services Specialist the requirement for a college degree is “Your degree or college credit must have been awarded by a regionally accredited college or university or one recognized by the NYS Education Department as following acceptable educational practices” (NYS, 2010).

In the military, tuition assistance only requires national or regional accreditation which means that students with a nationally accreditation degree attempting to transfer to a regionally accredited college will encounter a problem as most do not accept national accreditation. There are two of the ten colleges that have national accreditation and they are Grantham University and Columbia Southern.

There are of course times when earning a degree nationally accredited institution makes sense. I met a senior chief who received his master’s degree from Grantham and took a lucrative job in his field from a private employer. If you intend to work for a private employer than earning a degree and recognizing that you will never work in the state, federal or local government isn’t that important.

Accreditation does not guarantee employment however it helps to have the accreditation that is most widely accepted. It is limiting to earn a nationally accredited degree that will not transfer to most state colleges in the United States and will not be accepted for federal, state or local employment.

Ironically, a regionally accredited degree is required to attend OCS as non prior enlisted candidate so the Army wouldn’t hire someone with a nationally accredited degree but they will issue TA for an enlisted member to use towards the degree.


Hadley, C. (2010). 50 Most Popular Colleges. Military Times Edge. June/July 2010.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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