Many universities make the mistake of equating regional accreditation with international accreditation. Their argument is that if the quality of education found at a particular educational institute matches the standards required for that particular area or region, then it would automatically be classified as high quality and at par with global standards.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Notwithstanding the metrics used to evaluate the kind of education imparted by a particular university/college, regional accreditation, however, in no way means that it has met the global standards of education. In fact, there are several factors that play an integral role in determining the overall worth and validity of regional accreditation, particularly in the eyes of the student.
Studies have shown that the cost of the process of regional accreditation amounts to $10 million – a very high price to charge from a university. Educational institutions such as these make up for it by charging exorbitantly high fees from students when they enroll in any of their degree, diploma and certificate programs. By charging a high admission fee along with a high tuition fee, these educational institutions are able to earn their expenditure back, but at the expense of the student.
Scarcity of Alternatives:
Due to lack of facilities and minimal authority, educational institutions that enjoy regional accreditation are unable to offer career-specific courses as part of their curriculum. Therefore, students are at a loss as there is a very limited selection of majors to choose from.
Many regionally accredited universities offer financial aid or loans on behalf of the government as a way of facilitating those students coming from financially weak backgrounds to receive a quality education. Whereas the universities are able to settle their claims with the government immediately, students, on the other hand, are left with a string of liabilities that include debts and loans needed to be paid off; a process that sometimes goes on for a students’ entire lifetime.
Lack of Student Facilities/Services:
One of the most beneficial facilities that a university can provide to its students is the facility of credit transfer. Credit Transfer allows students to equate courses which they have already studied with the hours required to study a similar course when changing universities. This proves as a huge advantage when the need for relocation arises. However, regionally accredited universities have very limited courses as part of their curriculum that can serve the purpose of credit transfer.
Lack of regular supervision:
Maintenance of quality in an educational institution does not end with the said institute receiving accreditation status. It follows with regular monitoring and evaluation processes implemented to ensure the preservation of quality. Regionally accredited universities/colleges are rarely supervised and scrutinized. As a result, such institutes eventually compromise on the quality of education by not equipping students with required technical and intellectual acumen to succeed professionally.
With regard to the above-mentioned factors, it is now evident that universities boasting regional accreditation need to change their tack and instead incorporate educational practices that meet global educational standards.