Documents Out For Public Comment

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission has the authority to establish and promulgate criteria for the evaluation and accreditation of distance education institutions. These criteria take the form of Accreditation Standards, Policies, and Procedures set forth in the DEAC Accreditation Handbook. The Commission uses these criteria as it evaluates institutions and makes accreditation decisions. The criteria are under a continual and systematic review. Changes are made as appropriate and as required.

Persons, institutions and organizations with an interest in the accreditation standards and policies are invited to comment on Proposed Accreditation Standards, Policies and Procedures and will be notified of the date for when any changes will be given final consideration by the Commission. Interested persons, institutions, and organizations will be given at least 30 days to file written comments with the Executive Director.

The Commission, after considering written comments, will conduct a further review of changes proposed to the Standards, Policies and Procedures. The Commission may adopt the changes to Accreditation Standards, Policies and Procedures as proposed, adopt with changes or modifications, defer action until further study and consideration is given, or discard the proposed changes altogether.

Documents out for Public Comment

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is proposing changes to Part Three, Standards of Accreditation, DEAC Accreditation Handbook, in order to ensure their continued effectiveness and relevance to the evaluation of distance education. A systematic review of the standards, which began in April 2023, has been central to DEAC’s proactive approach to maintaining high standards of educational quality and adapting to the evolving needs of its institutions, students, graduates and other stakeholders.

The Commission is considering comments it received during a Call for Comment period that ended May 17, 2024. Please contact Dr. Leah Matthews, Executive Director, via email at with any questions.

Click here for a Summary of the Proposed Changes.

Click here to read and download a copy of the DEAC Proposed Standards Revision and Reformat.

Overview of the Systematic Program of Review

To kickstart the process, DEAC held focus group sessions at its 2023 Annual Conference and distributed surveys to various stakeholders, including students, alumni, employers, faculty, staff, and members of the regulatory community. By engaging with a diverse range of perspectives, DEAC sought to gather valuable insights and feedback on the existing accreditation standards, paving the way for informed discussions and reviews by the Standards Committee.

The data collected from these engagement activities served as a crucial foundation for the development of the newly reorganized and revised standards of accreditation. Through a rigorous review process, DEAC examined the existing standards to determine their validity and reliability as indicators of educational quality in distance learning. Retaining standards that proved effective and introducing new requirements to address emerging trends were key outcomes of this comprehensive process of review.

Furthermore, to enhance clarity and usability, DEAC restructured the standards from twelve areas of focus to fifteen. This reformatting was aimed at rearranging each standard and improving the overall flow and organization of the document, making it more streamlined and user-friendly for institutions, evaluators and external stakeholders.

The Commission recognizes and appreciates the dedicated efforts of Dr. Ray Rodriquez and the Standards Committee in developing the new accreditation standards where needed and in retaining existing content where appropriate. The Commission now invites its institutions and stakeholders to provide feedback and comments on the proposed changes, underlining its commitment to transparency, collaboration, and responsiveness to the evolving needs of the distance education community. Comments are being accepted through May 17, 2024.

In summary, DEAC’s decision to present changes to its standards of accreditation underscores its commitment to quality assurance, continuous improvement, and alignment with best practices in distance education. By engaging all of its stakeholders in the review process, and by proposing revisions that reflect current trends, DEAC aims to uphold its mission of promoting excellence and ensuring the quality of distance learning programs under its accreditation purview.