Anyone working in the criminal justice field is understandably short on two vital resources for pursuing the "luxury" of higher education -- time and money -- and the industry of distance education is flatly designed to get around those two obstacles. Place, or geographic distance, has never really been that much of an issue. Governments and schools have long, distinguished histories of "satellite" services and the like, but it's only been recently that speed in the form of short-term course scheduling satiates the urgency behind the "credential-me-now" phenomenon. Little is known about the genuine relationship between time and substance. Time is of the essence, but the essence may be in time. Getting a degree too fast may be just as bad as taking too long. Cost is easier to think about, and despite all the good efforts of those degree listing services to fine-tune the cost comparisons, the really "cheap" bargains are usually found in those states where no out-of-state tuition is ever charged for anybody; i.e., places where even an illegal immigrant can pay the in-state tuition rate, like California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Utah, and Washington. Both cost (in terms of financial aid opportunities) and time (in terms of the usual retention and graduation rate indicators) play into measures of quality, as the metrics of OEDb's Online College rankings illustrate.
Besides time and money, accreditation is the next big issue. There is much confusion about accreditation. The basic choice for years has been between institutional (accrediting the school as a whole) and programmatic (accrediting some program of study or major within a school) accreditation. However, in recent years, the issues surrounding this topic have become complex, controversial, and emotional. It's taboo to talk about it in some places, and a matter of litigation in other places. One dare not call someone's school "unaccredited" or a "diploma mill" unless you want to face a flurry of lawsuits, although if you want to see someplace where you can just "buy" a degree, then check out Lexington University (which is just a cut above places where you can get a customized diploma printed) or Trinity College and University (where for $350 you can get a fake bachelors or masters degree based completely on life experience). There are about 70 such "diploma mills" in the U.S., and many more overseas in places like Australia, Costa Rica, Spain, and Switzerland. Even the more decent schools are confusing sometimes. Certain phrases they use like "fully accredited" are meaningless because there's no such thing as partial accreditation. There seems to be no definitive information on this subject. Few academics (other than non-teaching administrators) are researching the topic. No one seems to have good answers to pressing questions -- Is my degree worthless? Will it get me into grad school? Will employers recognize it? Am I just going to end up with a piece of paper to hang on the wall? Will my unaccredited credits become accredited credits if the school I went to becomes accredited, and vice versa? Can I transfer my unaccredited credits to an accredited school? There are no easy answers to these questions. It all depends. At the risk of sticking my neck out, I'm going to provide some "as-is" guidance based on my years of experience. I can say I've seen everything from the successes and failures of numerous dot-com start-ups to shut-downs led by FBI raids. Also, I keep up with current events in this area, and I copy a lot of email traffic about it. It's appropriate I share what I can regarding the most frequently asked questions.
John Bear, a recognized expert who dares to use the phrase diploma mill, estimates from his survey of Registrars, that 100% of institutions will accept credit from regionally-accredited schools, 70% of them will accept credit from non-residential (online) programs at regionally-accredited (RA) schools, and 30% of them will accept credit from DETC- and other-accredited schools. Those are the numbers he posted in a discussion board at DegreeInfo.com, one of the many places where the lost souls of distance education hang out, and I mean nothing derogatory by use of the phrase "lost souls." The phrase "non-traditional" is better, referring to one or more of today's current "niche" markets of people too busy or disinclined to pursue traditional brick-and-mortar education. OnlineCollegeDegree Info is another such place. On the web, there are lots of school guides and websites to consult. I've toiled in the field for awhile, and there are lots of others like me, but most are afraid to speak up since so many controversial issues exist in CJ education; for example: the training/education divide, the qualifications of professors, program remnants of the "cop shop" days, programs that are just policy shops, programs that promise jobs, programs where the faculty have more experience with the back seat of a police car than the front seat, and programs that are uncomfortable with anything innovative. CJ education is certainly diverse, and there are variations on extremes. Most CJ programs are accredited by RA (regional accrediting) bodies, and every ten years, they go through a full-scale accreditation site visit with five-year progress reports in-between. Despite the ideology that accreditation is everyone's business, large schools usually have full-time staff handle all the paperwork, and small schools divide up the workload or shuffle it off on some senior professor who doesn't have much else to do. Each program should be continually doing curriculum reviews, program reviews, outcome assessments, and self-studies, but many don't find the time for this, and nothing really prepares you for the 10-year site visit anyway because it's luck of the draw anyway.
There are six (6) main Regional Accrediting (RA) bodies: the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont); the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia); the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Panama); the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming); the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (California, Hawaii, the territories of Guam, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the Pacific Basin, and East Asia); and the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington). In addition to these six, there are TWO MORE that can be considered spin-offs, or independent corporate entities, within the main RA entity, and those are the RAs which have pioneered the Best Practices movement in distance ed, and include the Western Association's Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (see WICHE Best Practices) and North Central's Higher Learning Commission (see NCA Best Practices). If your school is accredited by one of these eight (8) groups, which receive U.S. Dept. of Education funding and operate primarily by site visit-peer review, then you need not worry -- your school has the best accreditation there is. Most college presidents regard RA as the only game in town, and they will fight tooth and nail to keep the dance going with their RA partner. Some regions have a reputation for being tougher than others, and the West, North Central, and Northeast are reputed to be more lenient about accreditation of online programs, while the South can be downright obstinate in its opposition to anything online. Occasionally, some region goes on a "witch hunt" and orders a school to close down, puts it on some level of probation or warning, or gives it a fixed period of time to clean up its act, or else. Bad things seem to happen more for political or financial conflict reasons than for the quality of instruction. For example, the leadership at the school might be dictatorial or fraudulent, and the irony is that many educational leaders got their advanced degrees in Educational Administration online somewhere. These sorts of things will trigger the worst that a RA body can do. Much of it depends on luck of the draw, or upon who the faculty volunteers are that get picked to go around as peer reviewers for the site visits, as most bright, young, innovative professors do not volunteer for such service, and the visit teams are normally populated by mid-level administrators or department heads eager to move up the academic ladder and make their mark by being tough. Site visitors are a mean lot, for the most part. For example, if you're a liberal arts school which claims to produce long-term benefits for its graduates, they'll ask to see the "Mid-Career Life Satisfaction Surveys" from your Alumni that graduated 20 years ago, and if you're a proprietary, technical school, or community college, they'll ask to see the "Standardized and Normed Results of Competency Exams" comparing your graduates with those who are industry-trained. Another thing that often happens is that the out-of-touch people back at RA headquarters have gotten on some pedagogical bandwagon and stiffened up the criteria for something or other, but I'm sure you get the idea. There are hundreds of unhandled, unheard, and unresolved complaints people have with the RA bodies every year, but the official ideology on most campuses is to shut up and take it. Personnel turnover, all the way to the top, usually occurs after a bad RA review.
THE RISE OF PROPRIETARY EDUCATION
One of the fastest-growing movements in the country right now is the rapid expansion of "for-profit" schools run by individuals or corporations. They were once the subject of jokes because they advertised on matchbooks. A famous example is the New York Art Instruction School's "Tippy the Turtle" draw-me scholarship contests which appeared in comic books from 1950-1990. Today, they are the darlings of Wall Street and produce at least $3 million a year for shareholders with an annual growth rate of 266% (according to studies by the Education Commission of the States). They typically promise to get you online, educated, and out of the classroom and into a high-paying, growth area faster than you can skim a set of Cliff Notes. In other words, your education will be "practical" without much of that liberal arts, abstract stuff. In terms of qualifications, instructors without "real world" experience need not apply. A lot of money-hungry students buy into proprietary school talk about "hot fields" such as criminal justice, homeland security, computer forensics, investigative forensics, and so forth without realizing that today's "hot" fields may become tomorrow's "dead" fields. Nevertheless, older students, minority students, busy students, and those who used to go to community college are now jumping at the chance of a "hot job" and will gladly pay a little extra for the convenience of an accelerated or intensive learning experience that takes little more than a year or two.
Proprietary schools physically account for about 25% of all colleges and universities nationwide, and in terms of enrollment, they're growing. I know of no comparable numbers regarding the decline of regular, traditional school enrollment, but would conservatively estimate it at being around 3% or more per year. Proprietary schools have played the accreditation game well. In most cases, through cherry-picked outsourcing of key support elements, they have become accredited by the exact same RA-bodies that regular schools are accredited by. Their higher tuition and corporate-style, 24/7 support services mean they can afford to not only meet (but in some cases exceed) certain accreditation criteria. They could conceivably dictate a role in the future of distance education, but despite their egos, they are not that powerful yet. It remains to be seen what the traditional brick-and-mortar schools will come up with, but will probably consist of the same things that traditional schools usually do by initiating Presidential pet projects that distract from direct instruction. Some popular proprietary schools include: Argosy, Career Education Corp, Chubb, Corinthian, DeVry, ECPI, EDMC, EDMC, ITT, Jones, Kaplan, National College, Phoenix, Strayer, and Walden. Look for them on a billboard near you or in a radio or TV commercial.
In addition to proprietary education, a number of places are in the business of providing students with credit for life experience. There is a rather sordid history of this in criminal justice that goes back to the LEAA-LEEP days (circa 1970-1980) where the differential impact of funding created so much student demand that schools didn't have time to put courses together or hire instructors. Anyway, two schools in the U.S. currently operate as "assessment colleges" and they are Excelsior and Thomas Edison. Both are regionally accredited and it is possible there (possible, not probable) to earn an undergraduate degree without even taking a course from them. Note that there are NO such institutions at the graduate level. Many undergraduate schools around the country have a way to get credit for life experience, although with limits (the standard limit being no more than 30 credit hours, or about a year of college). The most widely accepted method falls under what is usually called the "challenge exam" method, and this includes CLEP tests as well as DANTES tests. CLEP tests are administered by the College Board, and DANTES tests by DSST. A few schools have experimented with creating their own challenge tests, but these are most likely some sort of unstandardized way to take (and pay for) an independent studies class. The second most common way to get credit for life experience is called the "portfolio method." This involves lots of writing, paperwork-filling-out, and the student putting together a bunch of documents and/or products from their life experience. Some schools require taking a course first in how to put together a portfolio. The process is hard, but the results are worth it because a qualified faculty member signs off on the credit recommendation (but is not allowed to help the student put together a portfolio). The remaining methods involve corporate training programs, occupational licensing, and military training programs. A small number of schools will use what is called an "ACE guide" such as the National Guide to College Credit for Workforce Training or the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. No such guides exist for law enforcement training, although an even smaller number of schools might be willing to look thru the other guides for similarities.
OTHER FORMS OF ACCREDITATION
Next best to RA-accreditation are DETC-accredited and ACCSCT-accredited schools, although according to some theories, next-best are former RA-schools that have decided by choice to forego regional accreditation. Some excellent program-level accreditation schemes exist at this level, for example, in fields such as forestry and fire safety. In such places, the school as a whole may be unaccredited, but some specific program of study is accredited by a review board or some sort of professional association. The field of criminal justice has been toying with this idea for years, and around 2006, seems to have finally got started on it. DETC appears to be the rising up-and-coming challenger to RA, and DETC-accredited schools are sometimes called NA (nationally accredited). For government employment purposes, it really doesn't matter much if your bachelors or masters degree comes from a RA school or a NA school, but it does matter to some private employers, and of course, it does matter if your target school is RA and you're coming from NA. The problem here is mostly RA snobbery, but unfamiliarity plays a role too, problems that groups like CHEA have been working on in terms of consistent transfer criteria. In criminal justice, DETC schools like Aspen University work hard to earn respect, and DETC schools usually have a long history of involvement in nontraditional things like videotape, CD-Rom, and podcast courses. ACCSCT-accredited schools primarily consist of trade schools and vocational programs. ACCSCT is like IACET or ACICS, the classic example of the latter being Daymar College. You'll discover that associate degrees are the most common thing here, and the learning is more technical-oriented and training-like. As such places put it, they are concerned with "educating students for professional, technical, or occupational careers." DETC, ACCSCT, the proprietaries, and a few RA schools are comfortable with credit by proficiency testing or portfolio assessments. Credit for prior experience is the same way. It varies, but few "credit bank" systems exist which makes transfer and articulation easy, and the number of hours you can transfer in may vary. Many schools rely on standardized, normed, testing instruments, such as DANTES, CLEP, AP, ACE, Berlitz, ETS, Rosetta Stone, and DLPT programs. Some places have "home grown" testing instruments. In the Voc-Tech realm, co-ops were the big thing about a decade ago, but they got shut down and were replaced by internships which are looked upon by some as the last big loophole to get quick credit from something that would never meet an academic standard. I would agree with Bear's estimate that the chances of getting your credits or degree from a DETC-accredited school accepted by a RA school (at any level, bachelors, masters, doctoral) are about thirty percent (30%). These aren't impossible chances, and the percentage is improving every year. It's going to depend upon a number of circumstances, like what the application pool looks like in a given year, and what the job market is like (if you're applying for employment). Ironically, DETC and ACCSCT schools are often so desperate for professors in some areas (like criminal justice), that your chances of getting employment there (as a graduate of their own program) are often greater than your chances of getting a job or grad school appointment elsewhere. Nepotism and hiring of one's own are not uncommon anywhere. In terms of just getting credentials for promotion at work, it varies by company ideology and the idiosyncrasies of the personnel officer and supervisors. Certificates are the newest big thing in this regard. However, in 2004, federal crackdowns began on employees who "beefed" up their resume with bogus credentials. One of the misconceptions perpetuated by schools at the DETC/ACCSCT level is that their accrediting body is "recognized" by the U.S. Dept. of Education, and that's true only because the law requires every kind of accrediting body to be registered federally. Recognition is not the same as accreditation. A recognized school would not receive federal subsides for their accreditation process like the RA bodies do. Further, there are a number of so-called accrediting agencies which are definitely not approved by the U.S. Dept. of Education, and any so-called "accreditation" by them is meaningless. The State of Michigan maintains a good list of these "bogus" accreditation schemes, and highly recommended is GetEducated.com which offers a free service called the DIPLOMA MILL POLICE allowing consumers to input the name and location of any online college in the USA and receive a counselors response on the accreditation status and type of accreditation (or not) held by the college.
Third, in my opinion, are schools that are under religious accreditation bodies, such as ABHE (Association for Biblical Higher Education), or even better, those that simultaneously pursue regional accreditation while maintaining a creed (annual re-affirmation) or profession of faith, such as those connected to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. A group known as ACI is also at in the forefront of independent accrediting for seminaries, Bible Colleges, and small specialized schools that don't fit well with other accrediting agencies. Places to avoid, of course, involve self-styled entrepreneurial ministers who create their own self-accreditation schemes. The basic principle at law is that no civil or secular authority takes precedence over the Church, although you'd be hard pressed to find much scholarly research on this aspect of Church and State separation in regard to distance education. Self-accreditation is looked down upon the most. A claim to be self-accredited is likely to result in an FBI investigation and/or crackdown. This presents a problem for some individual churches and also within the homeschooling arena, where religious inclinations lead one toward seeking alternative education as much as the desire to get away from some dangerous public school districts. However, most homeschooling is accredited not by religion, but by umbrella schools or correspondence schools. I personally like homeschooling. The research says students learn at least 30% better. It's a global phenomenon that just hasn't caught on in the States (much like the cert exams in the Irish model of education which is good also).
Worst of all are places that somebody, usually an state Attorney General, has put on a so-called "illegal list" or list of unaccredited colleges unsuitable, inappropriate, or unapproved by licensed employers in that state. The state of Oregon has a good example of such an illegal list. Contact the Attorney General in your state to see if there is such a list where you are at. As far as I know, Oregon (html file) and Michigan (pdf file) are the only two places that have taken the lead in exposing "bad" schools. I should also mention that there is a censure list put out for RA schools by the AAUP which should trigger a red flag if you are committed to academic freedom. There is no one-stop place to find a database of fraudulent or bad schools in the United States. The diploma mill industry is a $200 million industry in the United States, and such places have been known to fight back rather vigorously with their legal resources whenever anyone libels or slanders them. The pickings are what they are. Some good places may exist. Controversies are endemic and never-ending. Some institutions have cleaned up their act in response to a court order, others are operating under continual court orders, and still others defy court orders and fly-by-night off to another locale or overseas. Normally, a degree from a foreign institution, especially a doctorate, is a pure "research" degree, qualifying you to be a researcher, not a teacher. Graduating from a foreign school means you probably won't have a normal transcript showing courses you took. If asked, you won't be able to produce a syllabus. Instead, you'll have indicators of the time you spent studying a certain topic or studied under a certain professor, read their books, assisted with their publications, etc. The haphazard credit hour conversion system that exists in places like Europe and Asia is the regular subject of investigation by authorities. In summary, if all you want to do is feel good about yourself, a degree from anyplace will be all right, but don't expect anybody to be able to tell you exactly what the future holds in terms of your specific chances for anything else.
An important piece of information you should know is that the federal government has repealed the 50% rule which was part of Title IV (The Student Financial Assistance Act). The rule basically stated that for a fully online school or any school where more than 50% of its courses were delivered online, the students there were ineligible for federal financial assistance. The U.S. Secretary of Education always had the authority to waive this rule for selected institutions, and did so in a handful of cases and a number of exemptions since 2003 through the Distance Education Demonstration Program. I only mention it because the 50% rule has been the subject of much misconception, including but not limited to the notion of "hybrid" courses where students meet online for a certain number of weeks and then face-to-face for a certain number of weeks. So-called "hybrid" learning still suffers from misconception, as policies on it vary from institution to institution. It may very well be that someone or someplace doing "hybrid" learning is not officially approved to be doing it.
One final thing worth mentioning is SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) which is the official Department of Defense-approved method of e-learning. SCORM standards are XML code which control the sequencing or run-time environment in which a learner progresses thru material. It has been around since the year 2000, and according to the official ADL site, is now in its 4th edition (Wikipedia has a good entry on SCORM as well as some other Learning Management Systems). If you're doing any online business involving the military or military industry partners, you'll need to know SCORM because it will be mandated that you know it and use it. Certain Java customizations in WebCT and Powerlinks emulate SCORM. The customization of Blackboard functionality is more limited but possible through something called Building Blocks. In February, 2006, Blackboard acquired rival WebCT, and the resulting company will retain both product lines until WebCt is completely phased out, which is a good thing since WebCT was never that friendly to people with disabilities. Most universities into online learning will likely continue to use the ever-costly Blackboard and buy additional third-party add-ons for bells and whistles that may or may not represent a standards approach, but will, at the least, be interactive and interesting, and may very well remain the de facto standard training platform as long as it complies with SCORM which meets ISO 9000 standards like other virtual learning environments such as Angel, D2L, Moodle, or Wiki products. Gone are the days when most places simply compared Blackboard vs. WebCT, as today, it is commonplace academic research to compare Blackboard to other systems (see Blackboard vs. Moodle; Blackboard vs. Sakari Scholar; and Blackboard vs. LON-CAPA).
A NOTE ON DISCIPLINARY INTEGRITY
An academic discipline is just that -- a discipline, a distinct area of study carved out and separate from others, with its own paradigms and own research methods. I know this sounds like disciplinary purity, as opposed to the interdisciplinary movement which took colleges by storm in the 1970s, but the fact of the matter is that today, we are living in an age when disciplinary integrity is important. You'll find hundreds of CJ programs, even the most respected ones, with consolidated or mixed names like the Department of Sociology, Social Work, Geography, and Criminal Justice. Also common is the two-discipline department, like Sociology and Criminal Justice, Political Science and Criminal Justice, Social Work and Criminal Justice, and Justice and Public Policy. Then, you'll find plain old Sociology departments or the like offering what they call a "concentration" or "specialization" in Criminal Justice. A concentration is generally better than a specialization, and a specialization is generally better than a minor. The reason is that concentrations are usually closely tied to a major, and often have gone through a longer development and approval process. Specializations and minors are typically the kinds of things added at faculty meetings while concentrations require more thought. Diversity abounds, and it is too soon to tell what all concentrations, specializations, and minors the criminal justice discipline will eventually be able to support (like forensics, paralegal studies, homeland security, etc.). The situation is complicated by the fact that there are one-department programs that are really criminal justice programs, but go under a different name, like Social Ecology, Justice Studies, Legal Studies, or Criminology. The bitter truth is that 60% of the criminal justice discipline is "captivated" like this in the "wrong" academic department(s) around the U.S. Here's the story or at least my take on this matter.
Political Science, Public Administration, Policy Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Social Work, and Criminology are historically older fields than Criminal Justice. They've been producing Ph.D.s for a long time, and still crank them out at a unsurpassable pace. Some estimates are that for every 1 new Ph.D. produced every year in criminal justice, there are at least 8 new Ph.D.s produced in these other fields. Other fields, such as Justice Studies, are primarily geared at the Master's level, and often involve lawyers claiming their JD degree is a terminal doctorate. Those who interlope in the CJ field think they have the right to do so either because: (a) their dissertation topic touched on something to do with crime or justice; (b) one of their comprehensive exam questions had to do with crime or justice; (c) their advisor or mentor told them that they should claim criminal justice as a "concentration" or "specialization;" or (d) they once worked in law enforcement, courts, or corrections, and think this makes up for having a degree in the wrong field. Add to this the fact that there is a glut (or surplus) of Ph.D.s on the market in almost every field except criminal justice, and you begin to see the market-driven economics.
Most schools justify the strange name of their captive CJ program on historical grounds. Deans and presidents are the most frequent exponents of this idea. They usually point to some mysterious point in the school's past when the program was first created, and say a variety of things: an anonymous benefactor gave them money as long as the name was kept; a task force or committee looked into the matter and found no problems; the alumni surveys show no problem; we find the faculty mix helps achieve critical thinking goals, etc. The truth of the matter is that these deans and presidents are financially exploiting the large FTEs (Full Time Enrollments) of Criminal Justice courses to help offset the large costs of the relatively lesser-producing faculty in other disciplines. Sometimes such "other" faculty have to be given teaching load reductions or administrative easy-work because their own enrollments are so low.
My advice to students on this matter is twofold. One, if you are considering a "Name-Game" program, be advised that you are headed into a stormy environment. Chances are that the administration at that school, as well as the faculty there do NOT really regard criminal justice as an autonomous discipline. Most of them probably don't even "care" about criminal justice as an autonomous discipline. They probably only care about their enrollments and how well their department gets along. As a student, you will be forced time and time again to believe things like "all of criminal justice is just an extension of the sociology of law" (or politics or economics or whatever) and/or "everything criminal justice has to say about administration and management was stolen from the field of public administration" and/or "criminal justice is just a subfield of political science" and/or "social science methodology is generic, so it makes no difference who teaches the methods course." These are all lies, and the poor CJ professors held captive in such programs are exploited and oppressed. Don't be surprised by the turnover you see because they will likely be leaving for another job while you are trying to finish your education. Two, I would strongly encourage anyone taken in by all the concentration, specialization, and minor talk to find out exactly what will appear on your transcript. What's on the diploma doesn't matter; it's what's on the transcript that counts. You may have to ask the Registrar, or look at an actual alumni's transcript. Heck, the school may not even know. It may turn out that you can't even accumulate 18 semester hours of coursework with a prefix like CRJ, JUS, CRIM (which, along with a select few other prefixes, are the only established indicators of criminal justice coursework). If the majority of courses on your transcript have a prefix like SOC, POL, INT (or many others that definitely do not indicate criminal justice coursework), this may point-blank make you ineligible for teaching in the criminal justice discipline or for employment at the places that matter. There's also the strong possibility that, despite being reassured differently by your advisor who swears every day that your degree is in criminal justice, the transcript issued by your school upon graduation may clearly indicate that your degree is in some other field, and a little line added after it with words like "concentration area in criminal justice" doesn't count for much, if at all, especially among employers. Likewise, if you have credits from an unaccredited school and they get accredited and go back to re-issue or re-stamp your transcript, this will most likely be caught by someone, and their accreditation status during the years you attended may or may not make a difference, but you'll find the most common response is to just shut the door in your face because there's the slightest, twinge-of-doubt.
SCHOOLS ONLINE (alphabetical)
OTHER SCHOOLS NOT LISTED?
GUIDES, DIRECTORIES AND NEWSLETTER SITES
Online Newsletter for 2 Year Schools (League of Innovation)
VENDORS AND SOLUTION PROVIDERS
management system provider who acquired Prometheus, Web Course-in-a-box, and
most recently WebCt is also into portal and transaction services, publisher
support, training and consulting. See
Prentice Hall MediaCentral for what
can be done via publishers and Extend
Blackboard for other integration solutions, and don't forget all the
for criminal justice.
Campus Pipeline Portal and e-learning integration from SCT
ClassBuilder Gradebook, exams, lessons and more
ClassPoint Collaborative tool from White Pine Software
COLTS for Webboard COLTS, Complete Online Teaching System
Commonspace Collaborative web-based writing tool
Corpedia Makers of customizable e-learning solutions
Course Technology Markets CyberClass and WebCT
Cyberlearning Labs Makers of the popular ANGEL course management system
Datatel Makers of WebAdvisor and other "webolution" products
DLI Distance Learning, Inc. Makers of ScribeStudio platform for e-learning
eCollege.com (formerly RealEducation.com) Solution providers
ed2go (Education To Go) Solutions and instructor provider
Eduprise.com NC-based solution providers
e-Education.com (Jones Knowledge.com, aka Mind Extension Univ.) Package providers
LearnLinc (aka iLinc) from EDT Learning, a web conferencing software
MindEdge Providers of both course content AND a Course Management System
PeopleSoft Makers of campus IT middleware with an interest in supporting course management systems
Onlinelearning.net Solution providers
Tegrity Makers of a popular video recording device to deliver multimedia clips in online courses
Time Cruiser Makers of a popular portal software called campus cruiser
Turnitin Makers of the most popular anti-plagiarism software for online courses
American Distance Education Consortium
American Journal of Distance Education
Journal of Distance Education Administration
Journal of Library Services for Distance Education
United States Distance Learning Association
You Too Can Teach Online (Online Book from McGraw Hill)
Allen, M. (2002). Michael Allen's guide to e-learning. NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Bear, J. (2003). Bears' guide to earning degrees by distance learning, 15e. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press.
Draves, W. (1999). Teaching online. NY: Learning Resources Network.
Gilbert, S. (2000). How to be a successful online student. NY: McGraw Hill.
Horton, W. (2000). Designing web-based training. NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Horton, W. (2001). Evaluating e-learning. NY: American Society for Training and Development.
Ko, S. et. al. (2000). Teaching online. NY: Houghton Mifflin.
Maeroff, G. (2003). A classroom of one. NY: Palgrave MacMillan.
O'Connor, T. & Barr, L. (2003). Criminal justice on the net. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Palloff, R. & Pratt, K. (2001). Lessons from the cyberspace classroom. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Palloff, R. & Pratt, K. (2003). The virtual student. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
Rosenberg, M. (2000). E-learning. NY: McGraw Hill.
Simonson, M. et. al. (2002). Teaching and learning at a distance. NJ: Prentice Hall.
White, K. and Weight, B. (1999). The online teaching guide. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.