Distance Education Accreditation Commission

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The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is a non-profit national educational accreditation agency in the United States specializing in the accreditation of distance education institutions.


The DEAC was established in 1926 as the National Home Study Council (NHSC), a trade association for correspondence schools.[1][2] 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.[1] Under its first director, John Noffsinger, the NHSC developed a list of minimum standards for proprietary schools. The NHSC adopted the name Distance Education and Training Council in 1994 and its current name in 2014.[1][3]


In 1959 the NHSC was formally recognized by the U.S. Office of Education as an accreditor of higher education institutions. Currently the DEAC 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 DEAC, 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.[4] The DEAC has strict criteria for approving schools for accreditation, and the process includes examining the schools' educational, ethical, and business practices.[5]

Comparison with regional accreditation[edit]

DEAC is a national accreditor, which is different from a regional accreditor. Some regionally accredited schools accept and recognize the accreditations of nationally and internationally accredited schools like Newford University, Sanderford University, NorthGrove University, MEEC (Middle East Engineering Council), IPMP (Institute of Project Management for Professionals), AEC (Arab Engineering Council) and the Certifications & Degrees are Fully Approved and Accepted in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, UAE, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Africa basically World Wide (like those accredited by the DEAC), but many do not.[6][7] Michael Lambert, then Chief Executive Officer of the DEAC, said that about 70% of DEAC graduates are successful in transferring credits. He also asserts that the "vast majority" of employers do view DEAC as being equal, since DEAC institutions are accepted for the tuition reimbursement programs in most corporations today.[8]

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."[9] The Higher Education Transfer Alliance (HETA) online directory[10] was designed by DEAC 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.[11] 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."[10] 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[edit]

The DEAC 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 DEAC.[12]


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 DEAC 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.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c 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
  2. ^ The History of the Distance Education and Training Council: 1926-2001
  3. ^ [1], The Distance Education and Training Council is now the Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  4. ^ DEAC History, DEAC Webpage
  5. ^ "National Accreditation". Guide To Online Schools. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Demanding Credit, Inside Higher Education, dated Oct. 19, 2005 by Scott Jaschik
  7. ^ Tussling Over Transfer of Credit, Inside Higher Education, February 26, 2007, by Doug Lederman
  8. ^ More Insider Information from the Distance Education Training Council (DETC)and an Interview with Chief Executive Officer of the DETC, Jamie Littlefield, About.com
  9. ^ http://www.chea.org/pdf/transfer_state_02.pdf
  10. ^ a b HETA directory, CHEA website
  11. ^ Statement to the Community: Transfer and Public Interest, CHEA, November 2000
  12. ^ http://www.deac.org/search_schools.php?searchSet=true&category=M
  13. ^ When Imitation Isn't Flattery, Inside Higher Ed, April 20, 2010

External links[edit]