Distance Education and Training Council
The DETC was established in 1926 as the National Home Study Council (NHSC), a trade association for correspondence schools. Its formation was in response to a Carnegie Corporation study that found a lack of standards to ensure quality in correspondence schools and protect their students and the public from fraud. Under its first director, John Noffsinger, the NHSC developed a list of minimum standards for proprietary schools. The NHSC adopted its current name in 1994.
In 1959 the NHSC was formally recognized by the U.S. Office of Education as an accreditor of higher education institutions. Currently the DETC is recognized by Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education as an accreditor of institutions of higher education. According to the DETC, it is made up of over 100 distance education institutions located in 21 states and 7 countries. These institutions include non-profit institutions, trade associations, for-profit companies, colleges and universities, and military organizations. The DETC has strict criteria for approving schools for accreditation, and the process includes examining the schools' educational, ethical, and business practices.
Comparison with regional accreditation
DETC is a national accreditor, which is different from a regional accreditor. Some regionally accredited schools accept and recognize the accreditations of nationally accredited schools (like those accredited by the DETC), but many do not. Michael Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of the DETC, says that about 70% of DETC graduates are successful in transferring credits. He also asserts that the "vast majority" of employers do view DETC as being equal, since DETC institutions are accepted for the tuition reimbursement programs in most corporations today.
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) offered an opinion in a November 2000 statement that, "Institutions and accreditors need to assure that transfer decisions are not made solely on the source of accreditation of a sending program or institution." The Higher Education Transfer Alliance (HETA) online directory was designed by DETC to help students and the public find educational institutions with transfer practices consistent with criteria articulated by CHEA in its Statement to the Community: Transfer and Public Interest. According to CHEA, institutions that are members of HETA have agreed that their "transfer decisions are not made solely on the basis of the accredited status of a sending institution and that the institution has agreed at least to consider transfer requests from other institutions." The HETA directory provides links to member institutions so that students and others can review a specific institution's transfer policies and practice.
U.S. military accreditation
The DETC provides accreditation for three branches of the United States military. The Marine Corps Institute and the Army Institute for Professional Development (ATIC-SDL) are listed as degree-granting institutions with the DETC.
An unrelated entity based in Cyprus that calls itself the "Distance Education and Training Council" promotes itself on the Internet with a website that uses a United Kingdom domain name. In April 2010, Inside Higher Ed reported that DETC officials thought the imitator was an accreditation mill. A page on the UK-registered website was found to be a verbatim copy of content from the website of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
- List of online colleges in the United States
- List of recognized accreditation associations of higher learning
- Educational accreditation
- Michael G. Moore and William George Anderson (2003), Handbook of Distance Education, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ. ISBN 978-0-8058-3924-1. p. 39
- The History of the Distance Education and Training Council: 1926-2001
- DETC History, DETC Webpage
- "National Accreditation". Guide To Online Schools. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- Demanding Credit, Inside Higher Education, dated Oct. 19, 2005 by Scott Jaschik
- Tussling Over Transfer of Credit, Inside Higher Education, February 26, 2007, by Doug Lederman
- More Insider Information from the Distance Education Training Council (DETC)and an Interview with Chief Executive Officer of the DETC, Jamie Littlefield, About.com
- HETA directory, CHEA website
- Statement to the Community: Transfer and Public Interest, CHEA, November 2000
- When Imitation Isn't Flattery, Inside Higher Ed, April 20, 2010