Accreditation: The Key to Online Education Acceleration

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Seeking educational ROI? The University of the People’s free online
accredited degree programs are just that: Free and accredited. (UofP Graphic)

This is not a story about MOOCs. Nor is it a story about instructional environments and technology’s ability to bridge the economical divide. In fact, it’s not even a story about the future of higher education—the manner of which, I think, is inevitably predetermined.

This is a story, instead, about the tangible benefits of an online-distance learning program. It’s about a model of higher education, sustainable and directed, that focuses on realistic outcomes. What it is, really, is a story whose plot is action.

The University of the People is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, degree-granting online university. It’s also the world’s first such university to bear the mark (any mark) of accreditation—a distinction of particular promise.

Accreditation, I believe, is long the answer many experiential endeavors have sought in their quest toward accountability (and retention). Enabling star partnerships that provide a playground for educational entrepreneurs is no attempt to solve the e-enigma that currently exists. These are attempts at advertising an elite institution’s wealth of resources and knack for innovation, futile in propelling real progress.

It starts with infrastructure, not lengthy academic debate divulging learning theory. It involves sensible solutions, not the fanciful creative supported by investors and envied by the Ivies. Results come with quality and reward; there are no A’s for effort. Accreditation is the much-needed anecdote in a story whose long list of characters are virtually empty or ordinary.


“With the explosion of the population that we see worldwide, we’ll soon need over 100 million
places for students to study. That means we would have to build four universities each week, and
each university would have to hold 30,000 students. That’s not going to happen.”

–Gabi Zedlmayer
VP, Sustainability and Social Innovation HP


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2 thoughts on “Accreditation: The Key to Online Education Acceleration

  1. Yes, I absolutely agree with this point. I especially liked the statement, “Enabling star partnerships that provide a playground for educational entrepreneurs is no attempt to solve the e-enigma that currently exists.” Sure, the big names will draw people in but not in the way that providing accreditation for these free courses will, especially now as the initial rush of excitement over MOOCs is fading.

  2. Hi David, Great post! As we are part of this transition to online learning, we can see how it has given us a great opportunity to multitask of achieving our education goals and life itself. We are able to go to work, spend time with family and friends, while obtaining our masters. I believe online education brings an abundance of opportunities to those who are not able to attend college due to obligations or financial reasons. And ultimately this where the future of education lies and continuously moves towards this.

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