Why should I choose an accredited program?
CACREP Accreditation provides recognition that the content and quality of the program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession. The student, as a consumer, can be assured that appropriate knowledge and skill areas are included and that the program is stable, professionally and financially.
Prospective students are advised to be wary of diploma and accreditation mills. Diploma mills or degree mills award academic degrees with substandard, limited, or no academic study. Often these degrees are awarded on the basis of ‘life experience.’ While this may sound promising, the motivation is profit on the part of the degree mill. An accreditation mill claims that it awards accreditation to a higher education institution, but they have no authority or recognition to do so, and there are either subpar or no standards involved. These types of organizations do not have recognition as legitimate accreditors through any sort of organization that awards such recognition, such as the Council for Higher Accreditation, the US Department of Education or ministries of education in other countries.
For more information on accreditation and/or degree mills, CACREP encourages prospective counseling students to check CHEA’s website (www.chea.org), UNESCO’s website (www.unesco.org) or even Wikipedia to get more information about diploma and accreditation mills, especially if an institution’s or program’s claims seem suspicious. These websites try to maintain current information on fake agencies and institutions. If attending a legitimately accredited institution is important to you, confirm it before it is too late! Not doing so can have significant and unfortunate implications for your future ability to obtain licensure as a professional counselor or your ability to continue on for further graduate-level education.