“Accreditation” is a process by which institutions subject themselves to external scrutiny in assessing the standards and level of instruction they employ.

Accreditation is not mandatory and the lack of accreditation should not lead one to believe that a degree is worthless. 

Many of the oldest and most established institutions were unaccredited at one time and some of the world’s premier institutions remain so. There is no such thing as “government accreditation”. Accrediting agencies are in general private bodies; some have recognition at local, regional or even national level. Others do not.

It is important to address the question of accreditation if the degree you seek is as a qualification in a profession in which only degrees with certain accreditation are considered valid.  An obvious example of this would be medicine. Similarly, you should check on accreditation if you are wishing to earn your degree specifically for credit transfer purposes for a higher degree. This is of equal concern with traditional and non-traditional institutions. Many graduates from perfectly traditional institutions, particularly in the US, find that their degrees are worthless for credit transfer purposes at institutions outside their local or regional accrediting area.

Of course, credit transfer is not the only legitimate use for a degree. That would be like saying the only legitimate reason for buying a car is to drive on the Interstate.  usually, the kind of person that is attempting to convert experience into a degree, is not interested in going back to college, so credit transfer is not an issue.

For those seeking validation of life experience in the form of a degree, or those simply seeking the social prestige of legally acquired post-nominal letters or doctoral title, an unaccredited degree would serve perfectly well. 

Many “Loophole Institutions”, because of their international or religious nature are ineligible for local, or regional accreditation. Some choose to remain unaccredited, standing simply on their own merits. Others opt to join one or more private accrediting bodies, to add further strength to their degrees. 

In our view either option is valid, so long as the potential graduate is fully informed of the accreditation status. 

Many mainstream accrediting bodies place obstacles in the way of granting accreditation for degrees based on life experience assessment. This actually has less to do with the quality of the life experience assessed and more to do with favouring the financial considerations of their member institutions. 

"Traditional" institutions have, in general, been slow to embrace the concept of “life experience assessment” and “accreditation of prior learning”. Where institutions have adopted some form of assessment, it has been made so costly and time consuming that the applicant is often better off simply completing (and paying for) traditional modules to earn enough credits to graduate. The reason for this is quite obvious. 

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All tertiary level institutions, whether traditional or non-traditional, have to survive financially. They are all essentially businesses. It does not help the bottom line of a traditional institution to make it easy for under-graduates to “skip” expensive modules, simply because they have already acquired the information elsewhere. 

For those seeking validation of their life experience and prior learning, a number of non-traditional institutions cater to this need. Without the costs of expensive campuses, they can offer assessment of life experience at a fraction of the cost of completing a single module at a traditional institution. 

We make the point forcefully that the earning of a degree, from a legally formed and operating institution through fair and honest assessment of life experience and prior learning, is a valid educational concept. 

Accreditation is not important in itself, but it may be important depending on the use to which you wish to put your degree after graduation.  Accreditation, although important, is really only of benefit to a Graduate with no "real world" experience.  An employer is rarely interested in the credentials of a school when the applicant is clearly suitable and experienced for the job.

Of course, some will disagree with me on this, but usually they are die hard graduates who believe that the only people worthy of a degree, are those who have a rich Daddy able to afford paying the exorbitant tuition fees.

Make up your own mind on this

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