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The Accreditation Council for Online Colleges and Schools (ACOCS) was established to promote sound educational standards and ethical business practices of online universities. The agency has accredited members all over the world and it provides a highly refined and recognized accreditation program, offering distance learning institutions the most current, relevant and practical services.

The Association

The Accreditation Council for Online Colleges and Schools (ACOCS) sets specific standards for institutions providing online education. Its purpose has been to promote and preserve high quality, educationally sound and widely accepted distance education.

The institutional accreditation functions of ACOCS are performed by the ACOCS Accrediting Commission. ACOCS member institutions offer a variety of academic, vocational, and non-vocational courses online. These courses often make use of specially written learning texts and quite often include audio-visual training devices, job enhancing materials, tools, computers, and other equipment. Course length ranges from a few weeks to over four years of study. Although most distance study institutions teach students entirely "at distance," some institutions offer courses which feature a combination of distance study and resident training.

Mission Statement

The mission of ACOCS is to foster and preserve high quality, educationally sound and widely accepted distance education. It works to ensure that ACOCS accredited distance learning remains a viable and effective method of education and training for learners of all ages. ACOCS promotes institutional self-improvement, ensures academic quality and aids its members in the quest for acceptance and excellence.

Goals

The goals of the ACOCS are:

(1) To serve the members of the Agency and to promote the interest and general welfare of the distance education and independent learning fields;

(2) To establish standards for the operation and conduct of distance education institutions;

(3) To provide accreditation to organizations meeting these standards;

(4) To promote the adoption of sound educational standards and ethical business practices in the distance education and independent learning fields;

(5) To co-operate with public and private agencies at all levels in the development and exchange of information helpful to the advancement of the field of distance education;

(6) To work together co-operate with local, state and federal authorities to maintain high standards and sound policies in the fields of distance education and independent learning;

(7) To conduct and promote research for the advancement of distance education and independent learning; and

(8) To undertake any activity necessary for the accomplishment of these goals, consistent with the public interest and the interests of the distance education and independent learning fields.

Qualifications

Membership in the Agency shall be limited to institutions that offer instruction, assessment, and student services in the distance education field and are accredited by the ACOCS Accrediting Commission. The ACOCS Accrediting Commission may also accredit independent learning institutions and establish associate membership category groups.

Committees

The ACOCS Accrediting Commission Chair appoints all standing committees. The committees are:

Standards Committee

This purpose of this committee is to investigate educational problems unique to distance education and training fields, to survey the efficiency and effectiveness of instructional methods and procedures and to recommend to the Commission policies, standards and practices to govern the members of the Agency.

Awards and Recognition Committee

The duties of this committee are to determine the individual or individuals who shall receive recognition through awards for their distinguished services to the distance education and training fields. The selection of the award recipients shall be the sole responsibility of the committee.

Finance, Budget and Audit Committee

The duties of this committee are to study and recommend methods of determining equitable dues and fees. The committee shall also have the responsibility of preparing an annual budget for approval by the Commission and presentation to the Agency at the annual meeting.

Nominating Committee

The Chair of the Commission will appoint a committee charged with nominating officers and replacement members to the Accrediting Commission. Public members of the Commission and the Commission's officers will be elected by the Commission itself and Commissioners from ACOCS -accredited institutions will be elected by members of the Agency.