Regional Accreditation is no guarantee for the quality of education

Yes, this is exactly what I mean. There are quite a few advocates of regional accreditation in the world of academics and they do have valid points, however debatable. Many people are under the erroneous impression that if an educational institution is regionally accredited, it essentially imparts high quality of education.

The truth is actually a mile away. In no way can regional accreditation be used as a stick to measure the quality of education. There are few, albeit kept under wraps, facts that question regional accreditation and its worth to a student. See also the following video in which Costa Rica Business Faculty member Rina Coronel talks about St. Petersburg College PC Study Abroad programs.

Cost: In a recent documentary by Frontline, Inc., it was revealed that the cost of attaining regional accreditation is almost $10 million. Academic institutions are rarely non-profit these days, so one might wonder how they manage to pay this exorbitant price for regional accreditation. The answer lies in the high priced programs that they offer to students. They earn it all back via high tuition fees that they charge students.

Limited Options: Regionally accredited institutions generally require more liberal arts coursework, and regionally accredited online schools often offer fewer career-specific programs of study.

Debt trap: because regionally accredited schools are eligible for federal aid, they enroll students by signing them up for financial aid and loans offered by the government. Universities get their financial claims settled immediately whereas the student is left struggling with the loans and their respective interest rate for the rest of their lives.

Restricted options: in case you relocate for personal or professional reasons, it is highly likely that you will not get credits for previously studied courses as regional accreditation would be limited acceptance. Beyond the specified region, your degree is as good as unaccredited and will be of no use to you at all.

Over the past few decades, we could see many new colleges and universities being set up as a response to the ever-increasing demand for post-secondary academic education across Central America. The fact of the matter is, though, that most initiatives were developed by private parties and that much-needed regulatory oversight was lacking. So here lies a huge task for governing organizations and bodies to guarantee the quality of the offered educational programs and the institutions involved.

Lack of regular supervision: once an institution is finally accredited regionally after approximately 10 years (exactly, this is how long it takes to earn regional accreditation), institutions are barely ever monitored and thus their accreditation status holds no value in real-time.

While accreditation is in process, an institution is regularly supervised and scrutinized, and many assume it would suffice. It doesn’t. With time, institutions would curtail their financial resources and might compromise on the quality of education or ignore the demands of the corporate world, thus not equipping students with required technical and intellectual acumen to succeed professionally.

Like the few mentioned above, there are many other reasons that point towards the opposite direction for an answer instead of regional accreditation. There are many international organizations that award accreditation and acceptability of degrees around the globe. This is certainly a better option for students as they earn an education that is regularly monitored and globally accepted.

AUPRICA accreditation: one such international body that awards genuine and globally accepted accreditation is AUPRICA in Central America. AUPRICA is an international agency that works to improve academic education standards across Central America. It cooperates with worldwide institutions to grant educational accreditation to Central American institutions upon evaluation of their operations and academic programs to ensure quality education for students at universities and colleges in the region.

Online education has become an increasingly popular method of delivering educational content and all across the globe, also in Central America, students had learned about the importance and benefits of following an accredited program developed by an accredited school. We’ve seen more and more physical universities, as well as online programs across Central America, that have welcomed accreditation by AUPRICA accreditation. More and more schools are offering their courses and programs in an online format so they are looking to get the same stature, value, and respect as well.

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