Whether your credits from an online program or any other type of non-traditional college will be accepted if you try to transfer them to another school is the subject of a big debate in the federal government right now.
It all revolves around the concept of accreditation, which is still a very decentralized process in the U.S. Besides the six major regional accreditation agencies that have long certified the quality of college courses, a host of secondary accrediting agencies (mor than 60 overall) have sprung up to put a stamp of approval on specialized programs including religious schools, alternative learning programs and online schools.
Currently, if you want to transfer credits you’ve already earned into another program, the school you’re applying to can take a close look at exactly who accredited your courses. Many online course providers, and for-profit schools in particular, would prefer that a system of “blind accreditation” be put into place, which would forbid schools from examining just who approved the credits you want to transfer forward.
It’s a key issue, since a majority of college students today attend more than one school on the way to earning their degrees. The Bush Administration, which seems intent on bringing more centralized regulation to higher education overall, has recently formed a commission including a large number of representatives from for-profit schools on it. Speaking at the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) in Boston, an AACRAO spokesman complained that the U.S. Education Department seems “pre-disposed to rule in a particular way” and that the administration is taking an attitude of “non-negotiation” with most educators, who don’t feel schools should have to accept credit transfers from poor quality schools.
Online students could benefit if schools are forced to accept credits from virtually any college or university, though dropping accreditation rules could also create a new rush of fake “life experience” schools both on the web and offline. With the current administration aware that it has just over a year left in office, it’s likely that a ruling will come down soon on the latest accreditation debate.
Here’s a good article on Colleges and Universities that accept the most transfer credits.