Recognition by the U.S. Department of Education
DETC initially received federal recognition in 1959 and has continually held recognition by the U.S. Department of Education ever since. Federal recognition aims to ensure that accreditors meet expectations for institutional and program participation in federal activities, such as federal financial aid programs. Currently, the federal recognition process is largely carried out by the National Advisory Committee for Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). The NACIQI provides recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Education concerning whether accreditation standards are sufficiently rigorous and effective toward ensuring that a recognized accreditor is a reliable authority regarding the quality of the education provided by the institution it accredits. In 2012, NACIQI recommended to the Secretary of Education that DETC receive recognition through 2017. DETC’s scope of recognition by the Secretary of Education is:
The accreditation of postsecondary institutions in the United States that offer degree programs primarily by distance education up through professional doctoral degrees, and are specifically certified by the agency as accredited for Title IV purposes; and for the accreditation of postsecondary institutions in the United States not participating in Title IV that offer programs primarily by distance education or correspondence education up through professional doctoral degrees.
Recognition by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
CHEA was formed in 1996 by presidents of U.S. colleges and universities to strengthen higher education through strengthened accreditation processes. It promotes academic quality through formal recognition of higher education accrediting bodies and works to advance self-regulation in higher education through accreditation. Recognition by CHEA affirms that the standards, policies and procedures of accrediting organizations meet the academic quality, institutional improvement and accountability expectations CHEA has established. DETC first received recognition by CHEA in 2001. It received its most recent grant of recognition from CHEA in 2013. DETC’s scope of recognition by CHEA is:
The accreditation of higher learning institutions in the United States and international locations that offer programs of study that are delivered primarily by distance (51 percent or more) and award credentials at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, first professional and professional doctoral degree level.