Various external circumstances and conditions dictate completely new rules and standards to society. These cases entail the transformation of social institutions, reassessing life values and attitudes, and the emergence of more modern needs. An appropriate example of these innovations is the formation and development of new methods and tools in the educational process. Hence, to survive in a rapidly changing world and resist the yoke of new conditions, educational institutions of New York have determined a more relevant form of education – distance. Academic organizations in New York that practice distance learning must follow a comprehensive list of processes and procedures that directly affect the receipt of accreditation following the statutes of a particular state in the USA.
Processes Performed by Educational Institutions with Distance Programs
There is a wide variety of processes, requirements, requests, and conditions that organizations in New York that practice distance learning should adhere to obtain accreditation and licensing of training programs. Primarily, it is assumed that academic organizations carefully follow the instructions and requirements of the unique project, like DE program (Nworie & Charles, 2021). This is a highly valued and extremely necessary element for implementing high-quality and effective activities of institutions. Nevertheless, although accrediting agencies are not required to have separate standards and regulations, they are obliged to instruct IHEs to use the methods necessary to verify several cases and phenomena (Hegji, 2017). For example, people who have registered for the course must confirm and identify themselves. Considering these procedures, when checking, institutions should also carefully monitor the confidentiality of data and inform about potential force majeure related to information about students (Hegji, 2017). Data protection and security, reduction and elimination of cases of leakage of confidential information is one of the minimum requirements for accredited educational organizations operating in accordance with the norms and standards fixed at the level of a particular state.
Moreover, distance learning programs should include using and applying several types of technologies. They include the Internet, audio conferencing, wireless communications devices, and other modern means of communication (Distance Education Accrediting Commission, 2021). These innovations make it possible to maintain a continuous learning process and active interaction between students and educators (Maynard Cooper, 2020). From this statement, it should be assumed that the key elements of accredited distance learning courses under the requirements established at the state level are a set of elements based on the latest and relevant technologies.
It is also worth noting that the term “interaction” has its specific shade of understanding. Hence, it is understood as direct training, group discussions, feedback, clear information about the subjects being studied, and other activities approved by the accreditation agency (Maynard Cooper, 2020). An academic organization is obliged to provide educational materials to students who are distant from instructors by mail or using other electronic resources (Distance Education Accrediting Commission, 2021). In addition, lenders often focus on two particularly important aspects. They include an established support system and the availability of a wide range of opportunities for communication between teachers and fellow students (Nworie & Charles, 2021). Consequently, an established communication system and clear interaction between the participants of the educational process is the fundamental basis necessary for educational institutions in New York wishing to obtain accreditation.
Furthermore, the Department of Education in the USA has made several significant amendments recommended for implementation by educational institutions. For instance, the difference between such concepts as working hours and credit hours is determined (Maynard Cooper, 2020). From now on, to ensure flexibility in obtaining an education by learners, it is necessary to focus on the demonstration of learning, not on the time spent (Education Department, 2020). In this case, it is possible to distinguish both synchronous learning and asynchronous academic activity, which determine the format and type of knowledge and skills mastering by students.
In addition to the recommendations established by the department on the conduct of classes in relation to the number of hours, the duration of the program was fixed. Graduates who have mastered the profession with the help of remote technologies are required to complete a program that does not exceed 150% of the established minimum number of hours in the specialty (Maynard Cooper, 2020). Accordingly, educational institutions may be deprived not only of accreditation but may also be excluded from conducting educational activities using distance technologies due to uncertainty and unclear ideas about these concepts. Thus, institutions should carefully study such nuances in the curricula and make changes based on the recommendations provided to obtain accreditation.
In conclusion, there are many aspects that need to be considered by educational institutions in New York when obtaining accreditation following the established standards. For instance, the curriculum should be compiled, considering the requirements and conditions regarding the competent organization of the cognitive process. Academic institutions are recommended to assess readiness to conduct instructional activities within innovations and technologies. Organizations need to carry out continuous communication between students and tutors, providing each side with the necessary resources for the successful conduct of the educative process. Moreover, institutions should take care of the confidentiality of the data of both educators and learners.
Distance Education Accrediting Commission. (2021). DEAC accreditation handbook. Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
Education Department. (2020). Distance education and innovation.
Hegji, A. (2017). An overview of accreditation of higher education in the United States.
Maynard Cooper. (2020). U.S. department of education issues new distance education and related regulations. Maynard Cooper & Gale.
Nworie, J., & Charles, C.B. (2021). Quality standards and accreditation of distance education programs in a pandemic. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 24(3). Web.