Recognition by the U.S. Department of Education
To ensure a basic level of quality, the practice of accreditation is utilized in the United States as a means of conducting nongovernmental, peer evaluation of educational institutions and programs. Recognized accreditors are entrusted with ensuring the academic quality of the educational institutions where federal student aid funds may be used. DEAC initially received federal recognition in 1959 and has continually held recognition by the U.S. Department of Education ever since. In July 2022, The U.S. Department of Education staff and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) recommended that DEAC receive renewed recognition for a period of five years. Upon review of these recommendations, the U.S. Department of Education renewed DEAC's recognition for a period of five years. DEAC's scope of recognition is:
The accreditation of postsecondary institutions in the United States that offer degree and/or non-degree programs primarily by the distance or correspondence education method, including through direct assessment, up to and including the professional doctoral degree, including those institutions that are specifically certified by the agency as accredited for Title IV purposes.
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. DEAC first received recognition by CHEA in 2001. It received its most recent grant of recognition from CHEA in 2013 for a period of ten years through 2023. DEAC'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.
On May 1, 2023, the CHEA Board of Directors renewed DEAC's recognition through May 2030. Click here to read the CHEA Public Statement of Recognition.
International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies
in Higher Education (INQAAHE)
The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) is a world-wide association of over 280 governmental and private organizations that promote and advance excellence in higher education through the active support of an international community of quality assurance agencies and the promotion of quality assurance for the benefit of higher education, institution, students and society at large. Established in 1991, INQAAHE focuses on the development of the theory and practice of quality assurance, the exchange and understanding of the policies and actions of its members, and a commitment to the idea that quality and quality assurance are primarily the responsibility of higher education institutions. DEAC received recognition as a full member of INQAAHE in 2017.