Be Wary of Nonaccredited Schools

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Accreditation constitutes public recognition that an educational program meets the administrative, organizational, and financial criteria of a recognized agency. In the United States, educational standards for schools are set by a network of agencies approved by the U.S. Office of Education (USOE) or the Council on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation (CORPA). USOE or CORPA do not accredit individual schools, but they approve the national and regional agencies that do so. Almost all such agencies are voluntary and nongovernmental.

The entities listed below are not accredited by a recognized accreditation agency. Most operate entirely by correspondence. Some issue credentials to anyone who pays a fee. Others require completion of coursework. A few no longer operate. A few claim to be accredited by an agency that itself lacks legitimate recognition. Nonaccredited schools offering health-related instruction almost always advocate unscientific concepts. Moreover, is not possible to learn to properly care for patients without lengthy supervised experience with patients, which health-related correspondence schools almost never offer.

This page was posted on September 2, 2007.

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