Getting published is one thing. Now that everything is ready to go, you need to learn how to get an online course accredited. We talk about the steps you should take below.
How to Get an Online Course Accredited?
Having an online course and providing an award certificate for completion is nice. However, they don’t do much good unless the program is accredited. You don’t need to be accredited to offer a certificate. In fact, people are often happy to print it themselves and earn it. Still, if you want the certificate to mean more, accreditation is key.
Accreditation is a process, which depends on the method you choose. There are two programs available in the US. These are ICE (Institute for Credentialing Excellence) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute). They primarily recognize professional programs. The processes for these are different than if you desire accreditation from a formal educational institute, such as CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation).
If the course is related to a specific profession, you can choose ICE or ANSI. Both processes are comprehensive, and the rules must be followed. It is also going to cost money, but it could be a smart investment choice for your business.
The first step to get accredited by ANSI is to submit your application, which is four steps long. Then, the documentation has to be reviewed by the board. You are likely to have audits scheduled, and the ANAB is going to conduct some required checks. It is likely that you are going to have to change some things. You’ve got to show proof that you’ve corrected any mistakes.
Now, the board may find it all acceptable, and you are done. When that happens, the staff has to prepare your accreditation package and recommend you. The Accreditation Council must then vote on the package, and you are notified as to whether the certificate is approved or not.
Through ICE, the process is slightly different. If you have a program already, you must review the standards for NCCA accreditation or ACAP accreditation. You can find out from this if you are ready to submit your application. This includes having the right documentation and evidence to show that your program is complete and rigorous enough. Of course, this includes many things. Security, assessment methods, and score reporting are just a few.
When you are ready, you can fill out the form and include the necessary information. A board member is then going to check everything. They might have questions for you. It’s important to answer them truthfully and completely. Otherwise, your application might get delayed or denied.
If you want to be accredited by the Department of Education, the process is even more lengthy and filled with red tape. Don’t be surprised if it takes a year or more to finish the process.
Points to Consider
You should check to see if your course is similar to another. For example, if you decide to use the ANSI process, it might already have a class like the one you are trying to accredit. When that happens, you aren’t likely to get yours accepted.
However, there can be many courses that have the same aspects. It depends on what is learned, how it happens, and the wording you use.
Of course, you should also make sure that all of the information is accurate. You can’t teach someone inaccurate data. That means they are going to learn the wrong things.
Is It Worth It?
The short answer is yes, accreditation is always worth it. You’ve taken the time and energy to create this online course. Being accredited is a whole new level for you. It’s not an easy process because then, anyone could do it. If yours is accredited, you can charge a bit more for it, and it is labeled as a high-quality course.
Accreditation can also provide you with more marketing tools. Professional associations and organizations might list your courses as suitable options for members. You can then sponsor events from these associations or participate in some networking options.
Those who are ambitious enough can even speak at such events. This gives you a lot of visibility, but it also allows you to showcase your course.
Do I Have to be Accredited?
There comes a time where accreditation for an online course isn’t necessary. For example, if it is for a specific school, and only that school uses that course, you probably don’t need accreditation. Likewise, you may not require it if it’s for a particular job.
However, most people learn early on that they must attend an accredited school, and any courses they take should be accredited, as well. Therefore, people might be more cautious about taking your class if it doesn’t have accreditation.
What Does Accreditation Mean?
Accreditation means that everything is covered in the material for someone to have a career in that particular industry. Let’s say that you want your non-accredited course taught at an accredited school. It isn’t going to select yours because that jeopardizes the school’s accreditation.
It’s important to learn how to get an online course accredited. The steps can be lengthy and require a lot of work and effort from you. However, this is an excellent way to boost sales of the course. More people want to take it, and you might be able to charge more because of the accreditation.