5200 SW Meadows Rd. Ste. 150 Lake Oswego, OR 97035 info@cmasas.org
(888) 832-9437 Student Login

Three Ways to Validate an Online School

20 Oct

Three Ways to Validate an Online School

Posted By: 
Jim

Education has changed over the last couple of decades to include more and more online parameters for learning. While the traditional static model of a set number of school days with in person class room instruction has remained, more opportunities for online learning have moved to the forefront of education. This is perfect for those parents who have very active students, especially young performers, athletes and professional musicians. Online line primary and secondary education are a golden opportunity for those situations and more, it is also vital that the education meet quality standards and accreditation standards for post high school universities or colleges. Of course, the very fact that online schools exist,  make discovering if their standards adhere to accepted accreditation also easy.

Three Points Of Validation

When looking at online primary and secondary schools, there are three points of validation.

  • Accreditation
  • College Acceptance
  • Referrals

Accreditation

The above points are listed in order of importance. First point is accreditation. A online school should have the widest possible accreditation for the widest possible college acceptance. For example; The CMA School of Arts and Sciences is a fully accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission which is further apart of Advanced Ed which is a combination of the Northwest Accreditation Commission, the North Central Association and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. All regional accreditation associations and commissions, offering the widest base of accreditation in the U.S. 

Accreditation is the means by which a school is certified to meet educational standards of the certifying association or commission. There are six regional accreditation commissions or associations that cover the U.S. In the above example, this school is technically covered by three separate commissions and associations meaning it complies with standards that are used by a significant numbers of states and schools.

College Acceptance

Another validation for an online school is to contact future colleges admission departments and confer as to if the credits from the online school will transfer. Many colleges will respond with "If the school is accredited then we accept credit." However, one should make sure that the college accepts credit from the specific school. In the CMA School of Arts and Sciences example, since the school is part of the accreditation that contains the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, most universities will accept school credit. For private universities and colleges, the requirements are perhaps different and still require a specific answer from the school

Parent Referrals

One of the last but best way for a parent to know if the online school is a valid choice is to contact school alumni. Talking to past and present students of the school is a good way to gauge how well the school performs as well as how widely accepted the school is for post secondary education. Often the online school will be willing to provide referrals or have an alumni organization or catalog where contact can be made. 

Online schools for primary and secondary education have come a long way and the educational quality has increased to the point of exceeding many traditional educational models. This opens up the opportunities for parents who have very active young people who could benefit from a non traditional, non static education. Online schools are on the cusp of a new way to educate the future generations and that benefits us all. 

Here's to helping children grow into remarkable adults that help build an extraordinary future.