If the online college or education provider you are considering does not have data listed for any of the following items, please view their Web page to find the most current information.
The Carnegie Classification data is a snapshot of U.S. higher education based on data available prior to the 2000 classification. It is based on the Higher Education Directory by Higher Education Publications, Inc.
This Carnegie information indicates if an online college or education provider is accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (as of the 2000 Carnegie snapshot). It also tells you the level (associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral) of degree the institution is accredited to grant.
An institutions or education provider may not be Carnegie classified for various reasons — when the provider is not located in the U.S., is not accredited by a recognized accreditor prior to the 2000 classification, or the provider offers professional training or continuing educational opportunities that fall outside of the scope of Carnegie Classification.
Depending on your educational goals, you should also be cautious of the growing number of diploma mills which do not aspire to meet any academic standards.
This information categorizes the learning provider as "for-profit" vs. "not-for-profit"(according to U.S. tax status), "public" (when funded or controlled by a U.S. state) vs. "private" (independent control) and other related designations for non-higher education providers.
We have tried to collect accurate information about the accreditation of each learning provider listed at eLearners. However, to find the most accurate information at any time, it is always best to contact the learning provider or accrediting agency directly. Depending on your goals for your e-Learning experience (credit, career advancement, lifelong-learning, etc.) the accreditation or affiliation of the learning provider you select may or may not be critical. Read a detailed summary about distance learning accreditation.
The following is a list of accrediting agencies recognized for distance education.
There are six higher education regional accrediting agencies which are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. These U.S. regional accrediting agencies are:
Some people still believe regional accreditation is the "only" or "best" type of accreditation. This is simply not accurate. National accreditation — from a recognized agency like the DETC — has the same high standards and USDE and CHEA recognition. Distance learning schools enjoy DETC accreditation because the DETC is the oldest and most experienced distance learning institution accreditor. DETC offers many services to its member schools and is active in educating its institutions and the public about quality distance education. We believe this bias toward regional accreditation will continue to diminish with time. Learn more about national and regional accreditation
There are also many other national, professional, and specialized accrediting bodies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Many other organizations provide accreditation, guidance and quality assurance roles for distance and online learning institutions, foreign learning institutions and training providers. You may also want to learn how Carnegie Classification is related to accreditation.
The following is a list of specialized accrediting agencies that have been recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), U.S. Department of Education (USDE), or both to ensure quality and high academic standards.
Institutions which do not have appropriate accreditation for their educational purpose and audience are sometimes considered to be diploma mills. Read more about diploma mills to inform yourself about this disturbing trend in online education.
This piece of information helps you understand what level of education the learning provider offers. Learning providers may offer all their learning at one level (professional training or K-12) or in the case of a higher education institution may offer learning at various levels. Obviously e-learners should consider the level of learning needed and compare it to the learning providers you that offer the appropriate subjects.
The online colleges and education providers listed at eLearners.com all offer learning which can be completed from a distance without attending traditional "on campus" classes. Some providers we list may require a small portion of the learning in a degree or certificate program take place "on-campus" to meet their educational goals. Much learning listed at eLearners can be done online, or via computer-based instruction.
Depending on the educational level, subject matter, and learning institution a wide range of distance learning delivery formats are currently being used. There is no one format which is considered "best overall," so it is important you familiarize yourself with all of the options. Consider your needs as a learner, and pick an education provider that uses methods which will allow you to learn effectively. You can read a lot more in our Distance Learning FAQ and Guide to Online Education.