Our Core Values
The Distance Education and Training Council
has been the standard-setting agency for correspondence study
and distance education institutions since it was established in
1926. Its purpose was, and still is today, "to foster and
preserve high quality, educationally sound and widely accepted
distance education and independent learning institutions."
The DETC Accrediting Commission performs the
institutional accrediting functions of the DETC. DETC member institutions
offer more than 500 different academic, vocational, and avocational
courses by mail or by telecommunications. These courses often
make use of specially written learning texts and quite often include
audio-visual training devices, job enhancing materials, tools,
computers, and other equipment. Course length ranges from a few
weeks to over four years of study. Although most distance study
institutions teach students entirely "at distance,"
some institutions offer courses which feature a combination of
distance study and resident training. DETC institutions vary in
size. Various Armed Forces distance study institutions have enrollments
of more than 200,000 students, while other schools may have fewer
than 200 students.
The DETC conducts a continuing professional
development program for distance study educators. Seminars and
conferences devoted to distance education are held each year and
are open to any individual with an interest in distance education.
The DETC is a voluntary, non-governmental, educational organization that operates a nationally recognized accrediting association, the DETC Accrediting Commission.
The DETC Accrediting Commission defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence in distance education. The Commission fosters quality assurance, protection of the rights of the students and institutional self-improvement through voluntary accreditation via peer evaluation. DETC accreditation aims to instill public confidence in DETC institutions’ missions, goals, performances and resources through a rigorous and fair application and peer-developed accreditation standards.
The DETC is the preeminent accrediting association for distance education and training institutions worldwide. It is a resource for distance learning institutions, encouraging them to strive for excellence in fulfilling their missions.
Our Core Values
DETC is guided by these Core Values:
The DETC Accrediting Commission governs the
Distance Education and Training Council. The officers are:
Chair, Director, Off-Campus Programs, Cincinnati State
Technical and Community College
Vice Chair, President, American Sentinel University
||Leah K. Matthews*
Secretary and Executive Director
Treasurer , Gemological Institute of America
*Not members of the Commission
The DETC Accrediting Commission Chair appoints all standing committees.
The committees are:
This purpose of this committee is to investigate
educational problems unique to distance education and training
fields, to survey the efficiency and effectiveness of instructional
methods and procedures and to recommend to the Commission policies,
standards and practices to govern the members of the Council.
This committee shall also seek to further the observance by the
members of the Council of ethical practices and business standards,
and investigate and make recommendations on the standards of ethical
conduct to the Commission.
Awards and Recognition Committee
The duties of this committee are to determine
the individual or individuals who shall receive awards or other
recognition of distinguished service to the distance education
and training fields. The Commission shall determine which awards
or other recognition of distinguished service shall be given;
however, the selection of the award recipients shall be the sole
responsibility of the committee.
Finance, Budget and Audit Committee
The duties of this committee are to study and
recommend methods of determining equitable dues and fees. The
committee shall also have the responsibility of preparing an annual
budget for approval by the Commission and presentation to the
Council at the annual meeting.
The Chair of the Commission will appoint a
committee charged with nominating officers and replacement members
to the Accrediting Commission. Public members of the Commission
and the Commission's officers will be elected by the Commission
itself and Commissioners from DETC-accredited institutions will
be elected by members of the Council.
The Distance Education and Training Council: Over Eight
Decades of Service
Since 1926, the DETC (formerly National Home
Study Council) has evolved continuously as a highly respected
public service organization dedicated to identifying quality distance
learning institutions. Over 135 million Americans have enrolled
in DETC institutions since 1890.
Today, DETC is comprised of more than 100 distance
education institutions located in 21 states and 7 countries. DETC
institutions include non-profit institutions, trade associations,
for profit companies, colleges and universities, and military
The range of institutions in the DETC makes
it unique. There are universities owned by national governments,
schools dedicated to offering tuition-free programs for the blind,
church-owned schools of theology,
and schools teaching in Spanish and even a university in Japan
that offers degrees in translation.
DETC accredits some of the very largest educational
institutions in the world, including the military distance learning
institutes operated by the Air Force, Army and Marine Corps. Since
World War II, millions of veterans have studied with DETC institutions
earning degrees and job-enhancing skills as they prepared to re-enter
Within DETC's ranks are two century-old distance
high schools, Griggs International Academy and Penn Foster High
School, some of the world's largest education institutions (in terms of students enrolled), a school that teaches
the blind using Braille and tapes, a university owned by a consortia
of 19 state governors, the Western Governors University, and an
association of jewelers that sends diamonds to its distance students
to practice their appraisal skills. DETC also accredits Deakin University, a government-owned universitiy in Australia.
One DETC member, the International Correspondence
Schools (now called Penn Foster Career Schools) donated its curricula
to the U.S. Marine Corps in 1920 to help in the launching the
Marine Corps Institute in Washington, DC. For years the MCI diplomas
were co-signed by the President of ICS and the Commandant of the
Marine Corps. In 1926, ICS repeated its gesture and donated its
curricula to the Coast Guard Institute.
More than 4 million students are enrolled in DETC
institutions, and over 500 fields of study are offered, ranging
from accounting to yacht design. DETC institutions offer instruction
at the Kindergarten through the Professional Doctoral Degree level
(e.g., Doctor of Business Administration and the Doctor of Education.)
Famous alumni of DETC institutions include
industrialist Walter Chrysler, Senators Barry Goldwater and Stuart
Symington, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, WWI war hero Captain
Eddie Rickenbacker, cartoonist Charles Schutz, South African
President Nelson Mandela, playwright Clifford Odets, and millions
of other men, women and children. Dozens of entertainers, ice
skating stars and tennis professionals earned their high school
diplomas from DETC institutions.
DETC has enjoyed the official recognition of
the U.S. Secretary of Education since 1959, and since 1975, DETC
has been recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation
or its predecessor organizations.
The foundation of all modern distance education
theory and practice was correspondence instruction, which started
in this country in the 1870s. Correspondence study has evolved
over the decades and pioneered or perfected many instructional
methods and tactics now taken for granted, including convenient,
at home learning anytime or anyplace, self-paced scheduling, self-testing
in textbooks, and “action learning” in the workplace,
where curricula coverage matches up with job duties and hands
DETC institutions have been cutting edge in
their visionary approach, were offering at home instruction in
law in 1908, radio electronics in 1914, in television
electronics in 1935, robotics in 1975 and microcomputer repair
in 1976. The first use of online learning in DETC was 1986, when
the Gemological Institute of America created its GIA NET that
combined telephone links and personal computers.
Prior to WWII, the majority of CPAs in many American states
learned their craft from DETC accounting schools. A large number
of America’s yacht designers are alumni of DETC’s
Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology.
Today, DETC institutions make use of a diverse
variety of media to provide up to date and performance-based learning,
including the Internet and its entire array of tools.
As the 21st century gets underway, we see that
distance education growing at a record rate in terms of new providers,
burgeoning student enrollments, global audiences, and near limitless
potential for bringing the finest learning and finest faculty
right to every student’s home or office. No longer place
bound or schedule bound, learners are going “back to school”
again by the millions, and DETC institutions are on the leading
edge of this education evolution.
A documentary on the DETC and its history now is available to view online.
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