Accreditation of online colleges, universities and programs is important for evaluating their legitimacy and quality. Since Canadian education is regulated provincially (not by the federal government), there is no national educational accreditation system.
However, most online programs are granted by public universities and colleges that have been given authority to grant degrees, diplomas and certificates by their respective provincial government, and which are therefore "recognized." Government recognition is a form of quality assurance.
Depending on the school's focus--whether it is a career college or Christian college, for example--it may be eligible for particular accreditation. For example, career colleges offering online programs may be accredited by the Canadian Education and Training Accreditation Commission (CETAC), and Christian colleges by The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) or the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
Membership and Associations
The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) are national organizations that establish standards of quality for educational institutions. Membership in these organizations and compliance with provincial education laws is generally accepted as equal to institutional accreditation.
Programs offered by online colleges are eligible for accreditation by the same professional accreditation agencies as campus-based programs. Professional accreditation means a specific school department or program has been evaluated as meeting the standards of the accrediting agency of a certain profession. Some accrediting agencies accredit programs, and others accredit individual graduates of certain programs. Some examples of Canadian agencies that accredit academic programs are:
Accreditation assures you and your parents that the school follows high quality standards, that programs are delivered by qualified faculty and are up-to-date. A degree or other credential from an accredited school or program can help make you more competitive on the job market.