Picture by: Alex Nabaum from Mother Jones magazine Jan. 31, 2014.
Program Accreditation and Self-Teaching (Copyright Doug Setter 16 August, 2017)
Accredited learning institutions, that is, schools recognized by the government, might have the credibility that many of the unaccredited “diploma mills” do not. Yet, recognized schools also have long waiting periods. (Some nursing programs have two year waiting lists.) Whereas, non-accredited schools have shorter waiting periods.
The down side to the non-accredited schools is the high cost. Some report good results, some do not. Some report total rip-offs.(1) Some schools, like the Sprott College, is PCTIA approved, so it is recognized. Therefore, the graduating students are reportedly qualified to work in their fields. Yet, many of the student reviews in this college were poor . However at least one review mentioned that the graduating students were well-prepared.
Recognized schools are cheaper. But, is the end product any better? I say no. There are plenty of graduates being “under employed” in their fields.
In both instances, of good and bad reviews from private colleges is that much of the schooling was self-taught . In my own experience with recognized schools, this is much the same. Where some (and I emphasize some) professors were available for questions or could actually give straight answers, most of the learning came from my own self-study and fellow students. I even hired a tutor for a statistics course.
Though I have never experienced them, the co-op programs show the most promise, though the results can range from placement into a good paying job to getting room and board covered in a non-profit organization. One friend of mine went to do charity work in South America for several months. He came back missing hair.
Higher education means taking responsibility for your learning. High school is long over and no one is there to push you through. Nowadays, learning on your own is the new norm. Good luck with it.