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Accreditation

Accreditation is an EXTREMELY IMPORTANT consideration when you attend a college or trade school. You have to be VERY CAREFUL that you do NOT receive a degree from a "diploma mill" or some type of SCAM school. You NEED to make sure that the school AND the career program are accredited by the appropriate agencies. We will repeat this, you need to make sure that the school AND the specific career program is accredited by the appropriate agencies. This is critical to future employers and to the ability of transferring your classes/credits to another school. For example, I went to a university to obtain a Master's Degree in Library Science. The university was accredited by "North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission." However, the Library Science program, offered by the university, HAD to be accredited by the "American Library Association." The "American Library Association" had to accredit the Library Science program so that employers would be assured that the graduates from this program would know the basics of how to be a Librarian. I am telling you that if the specific career program of Library Science was NOT accredited by the appropriate governing body (American Library Association) then I do NOT get a job as a professional Librarian. Almost, NO academic or major public library would hire me without the proper accreditation, which for Library Science, is the "American Library Association." I wanted to be a Librarian so I had to attend a properly accredited university that would have a Library Science program that was accredited by the "American Library Association." The same is true for many other careers. Nursing, Physical Therapy, and MANY other career programs have their own specific accrediting agency. Make sure that the trade school or college is accredited by the appropriate organization. Make sure that the specific career program that you are pursuing is accredited by the appropriate organization.

The U.S. Department of Education keeps information about accreditation, lists, and search databases of accredited schools. You can spend some time exploring this site. You might want to start at this web page: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg6.html#NationallyRecognized

The database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs is located at: https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. We need to make sure that you are aware that just because your school is NOT listed within this database does NOT mean that the school is NOT accredited by the appropriate authority. We have found some schools that are not listed in this particular database but DEFINITELY ARE ACCREDITED by the appropriate authority. This database is just one tool to help you determine if your school and program are accredited. You need to do more research in order to help you make the right decision.

Back to College has good information about accreditation at: http://www.back2college.com/library/accreditfaq.htm .

Online-Education.net can provide more information on accreditation at http://www.online-education.net/online-accreditation.html .


Associations and Organizations Associated with Specific Careers (Occupations)

Each career will have a specific educational association affiliated with the career. Each association should have enough information to help you make an informed decision on careers, and the school programs that offer education for those careers. Something to keep in mind is that some of the associations ARE the accrediting body for the specific career / occupation.

Let us give you one example of how YOU can find out about schools, career programs, and accreditation.

For Diagnostic Medical Sonography, "there are several types of program accreditation and the type of accreditation can affect what you need to do to be able to take the ARDMS certification examinations. ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) administers examinations, and awards credentials in the areas of diagnostic medical sonography, diagnostic cardiac sonography, vascular technology, and ophthalmic biometry. Additional information on ARDMS is available at http://www.ardms.org.

"By attending a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), you will be able to take the national certification examinations offered by the ARDMS upon graduation from the program. By successfully completing the certification exams, you will be awarded the credential of 'registered sonographer.'"

For Sonography programs, there are two agencies that make recommendations and govern the sonography educational programs:
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

The COLLEGE or SCHOOL that you attend might be accredited by an organization that accredits colleges, such as North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. HOWEVER, the specific Diagnostic Medical Sonography class/course program needs to be accredited by either AND/OR both agencies:
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

About the only way that we found this information about sonography was to do our own investigation by contacting schools and by contacting associations affiliated with the profession of Sonography.

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