At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is an Accredited Distance Learning Degree?

Vanessa Harvey
Vanessa Harvey

An accredited distance learning degree is an official credential issued by a college that offers a distance learning degree programs and that also is accredited. The degree serves as proof of the student's satisfactory completion of studies in a particular discipline. It might also be considered an official document that certifies that the graduate has been properly and professionally trained to work in the field of study that he or she chose. Another way of describing an accredited distance learning degree is to call it an award for having gained knowledge and skill in a specific subject area or in general studies.

Earning an accredited distance learning degree does not guarantee international or even national recognition of the graduate's accomplishments, because not all accredited schools are recognized as such. Recognition almost always depends on the status of the accrediting agency, which can be a national or regional organization. If an agency that accredits a distance learning school is not considered a reliable authority, its stamp of approval tends to be considered unreliable.

A woman taking distance learning classes.
A woman taking distance learning classes.

Students who wish to earn an accredited distance learning degree that will have the best chances of being nationally and perhaps internationally recognized as professional are advised to complete their studies at schools that hold regional accreditation. This is especially true if they might want to someday transfer the credits they have earned to another institution of higher education in order to work on completing a higher degree. Graduates seeking employment in large enterprises usually increase their chances of being offered a job if their degree is from a regionally accredited school.

Accreditation basically involves the performance of an independent review of a college or university by another recognized agency that held in esteem in that area of education. The purpose of the review is to certify that learning is not only uniform but also of high quality so that, upon graduation, students will be prepared to enter the workforce in their chosen field. Most nations have agencies that handle the accreditation of institutions that offer distance learning in a similar fashion. Many employers understand that job applicants who hold an accredited distance learning degree are often just as qualified for a position as graduates who hold degrees from traditional schools.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • A woman taking distance learning classes.
      By: Yuri Arcurs
      A woman taking distance learning classes.