Can an Accredited Degree Ever Become Unaccredited?

Though it may sound absurd, schools, employers or HR folks who do a search on your educational background may discover after hitting the Search button that your school of study shows up as unaccredited. What does this mean for you?

I know I’ve given advice about accredited and unaccredited universities before, but this is a particularly interesting subject of contention.

Imagine this scenario: You graduated from university (distance learning or on-campus) 3 years ago that at the time was accredited but your potential employers looks it up now to discover it isn’t accredited any longer and in their eyes your ‘accredited degree’ doesn’t cut the mustard.

However, turn this on its head: would this work in someone’s favor if they got their degree from an unaccredited university that later gained DETC (Distance Education and Training Council) or RA accreditation?

Well, most scenarios are unique so there is no cut and dry answer. Employers giving the candidate the benefit of the doubt though would accept a degree as credible if the institution currently has accreditation recognized by the DoE and CHEA, or if the institution did at the time the candidate graduated.

Speak to the accreditation agency which should be able to confirm the school’s accreditation status at the time of your graduation. If your school is now out of business then the accreditation agency should be taking care of your records and transcripts.

However you study though, it is very important to inform employers to take into account the date of your graduation and compare it to the date of accreditation. In a nutshell, the accreditation status your employer is supposed to look at the degree as it was at the time of the candidate’s graduation. Matching up these vital factors is very important, but actual situations are so varied that decisions are often made on a case by cases basis.

The moral of the story is to be aware that you know what you are holding in your hands whether an accredited degree or otherwise before you go applying for a job or further study.


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