ACOCS Accrediting Commission was established with
a mission to promise the high educational and ethical standards
in distance education by means of standard-setting, evaluation
and consultation processes. The ACOCS Accrediting Commission
identifies and accredits distance education and training institutions
that have attained and maintained the standards deemed necessary
to operate at a basic level of quality.
The Commission establishes educational, ethical and business
standards; it examines and evaluates distance education institutions
in terms of these standards; and accredits those who qualify.
Its accrediting program employs procedures similar to those
of other recognized educational accrediting agencies. The
Commission’s procedures and standards have been continuously
refined and improved over the last two decades.
study institutions located outside the United States are eligible
to apply for accreditation. The opportunity to apply for accreditation
is open to private and public distance education institutions,
both at the degree and non-degree levels.
more than a decade, ACOCS-accredited institutions have been
leaders in the field of distance education accreditation.
There are many benefits to being accredited. Accreditation:
> provides a reliable
indicator of institution quality for counselors, employers,
educators, governmental officials, and the public.
> is an expression of confidence in the educational program,
the policies, and the procedures of the institution by its
peers—a lasting source of pride to the institution.
> is an external source of stimulation to improve services,
programs, and staff through periodic self-studies and evaluations
by an outside agency.
> is an assurance of high standards and educational quality
through the institution’s adherence to established criteria,
policies, and standards.
> brings the institution recognition through the extension of
special status by several states under their legislation and
regulations, as well as recognition given by federal, state,
and local agencies in referring students to accredited schools.
> allows an institution and its courses to be listed in the
ACOCS Directory of Accredited Institutions.
> enables an institution to participate in the Career College
Voucher program through the Workforce Development/OCSEA for
the State of Ohio.
> allows the promotional use of the ACOCS seal and reference
to accreditation by the ACOCS Accrediting Commission.
> allows students to qualify for tuition reimbursement under
various tuition assistance plans requiring enrollment with
an accredited school.
> enhances—but does not guarantee—the acceptance
of academic credits of graduates at other educational institutions.
> expedites acceptance
of advertising by newspapers, magazines, radio and television
stations, and other advertising mediums.
> provides a unique professional development opportunity for
the institution’s staff members to serve on accrediting
examining committees visiting other institutions.
powers and responsibilities of the Commission are:
> To establish and
promulgate criteria the evaluation and accreditation of distance
education and independent learning organizations;
> To establish its operating budget and provide for a schedule
of reasonable fees which will assure the financial stability
of the Commission;
> To receive applications from institutions desiring accreditation;
> To appoint qualified evaluators and provide a comprehensive
> To review the Chair’s reports and all other pertinent
material and accredit or withhold accreditation from applicant
institutions. The decisions of the Commission are not subject
to review or revision by the membership of the ACOCS or the
Council’s Board of Trustees;
> To issue a directory of accredited organizations (ACOCS Directory
of Accredited Institutions) and a Web site listing in which
institutions will be identified in a manner which indicate
their course offerings;
> To make available the current information covering the criteria
for accreditation and the operation of the Commission known
to the public.
> To re-evaluate the accredited organizations’ programs,
organization, and courses of study at reasonable intervals
> To exercise powers that are necessary to carry out the function
of a reputable, nationally recognized accrediting association.