Sacramento, Calif., July 31, 2023 – On Friday, July 28, Calbright College was granted initial accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), more than a year ahead of the April 1, 2025 deadline outlined in the College’s founding legislation. In addition to recognition and validation of the College’s mission, academic offerings, and operations, this pivotal accomplishment acknowledges institutional accountability and consumer protection for students and the public by ensuring integrity, quality, and effectiveness. As is standard, this initial accreditation period is for a term of three years, through June 2026, at which time Calbright will apply for renewal.
“Calbright College is thrilled to receive this grant of accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission,” said Calbright College President and CEO Ajita Talwalker Menon. “We are the leading edge of the learning curve for how to best support adult learners and this milestone not only affirms the exceptional work of our faculty, students, and staff, but also paves the path forward as we move through and beyond our seven-year start-up period. Accreditation is yet another mechanism through which we can build an institution that meets our students where they are, designed around their needs and goals, in order to nurture their success.”
In further support of Calbright’s adult learners, accreditation provides students with greater opportunities to have their validated learning connect to other postsecondary institutions. It provides an entry point for the College to begin the process of accepting credit students earn from other institutions and also offering courses for credit – both of which will take time for Calbright to operationalize and are likely feasible toward the end of the College’s start-up period, which concludes in early 2026. It also opens the door for students to access resources at the state and federal level to support their education and training, though this, like offering courses for credit, will take time for the College to implement.
The DEAC decision is effective immediately, and Calbright has the full rights and privileges of an accredited institution. In addition to serving as a hallmark of credibility, this includes: access to grants and categorical funding to support students’ needs, enhanced employment opportunities for graduates, and the ability for students to carry their academic achievements beyond Calbright. The College will also be able to change its website suffix to .edu. Additional information regarding the decision is outlined in the frequently asked questions below.
“Accreditation by DEAC is a reliable indicator of the value and quality of the distance education that an institution offers,” said DEAC. “In receiving this initial grant of accreditation, Calbright College has demonstrated its commitment to educational standards and ethical business practices that assure quality, accountability, and improvement in higher education.”
DEAC is the preeminent accrediting organization for distance education delivered worldwide that sets high standards for academic quality inspiring excellence in teaching, learning, and student outcomes through voluntary assessment and peer review. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and provides a single source of nationally recognized accreditation from the primary school level through professional doctoral degree-granting institutions. Accreditation by DEAC covers all distance education activities within an institution. DEAC’s focus and leadership within the distance education sector, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion were leading reasons Calbright chose it as a possible accreditor when commencing the application process in 2021.
The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1926 that operates as an accreditor of distance education institutions. DEAC’s goal is to ensure a high standard of educational quality in the distance education institutions it accredits and a quality education for the students who annually study at its accredited institutions.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) accreditation standards?
Accreditation standards establish the minimum thresholds and guidelines for educational quality and operational integrity. DEAC publishes accreditation standards that it uses to evaluate institutions across twelve areas: 1) institution mission goals; 2) institutional effectiveness and strategic planning; 3) program outcomes, curricula, and materials; 4) educational and student support services; 5) student achievement and satisfaction; 6) academic leadership and faculty qualifications; 7) advertising, promotional literature, and recruitment personnel; 8) admission practices and enrollment agreements; 9) financial disclosures, cancellations, and refund policies; 10) institutional governance; 11) financial responsibility; and 12) facilities, equipment, supplies, record protection and retention. Please refer to DEAC’s website for more information.
How does DEAC make decisions about an institution’s accreditation status?
Institutions undergo a rigorous process to receive an initial grant of accreditation and maintain its “accredited” status with an accrediting organization. DEAC bases its decisions on evidence of compliance with all accreditation standards and the required steps for initial accreditation.
Will students be able to transfer credit from Calbright College?
The acceptance of transfer credits is at the discretion of the receiving institution and colleges evaluate transfer credit based on their individual policies, curriculum and learning outcomes alignment, and accreditation status of the institution awarding the credit. While Calbright does not currently offer courses for credit, there are established policies on the topic of credit transfer that many institutions follow. The Policy on Transfer of Credit from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (as of January 2023) states that transferred credits must come from “an institution accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting body.”
DEAC exceeds this minimum requirement as outlined by ACCJC, as it is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Will Calbright College evaluate transcripts now and offer transfer credit?
Post-accreditation, Calbright will work to develop efforts to ensure that students have opportunities to transfer validated knowledge and skills to accelerate their progress towards additional credentials. Becoming accredited is the first step in this multi-year process.