Accreditation and Approvals
Accredited Online Degree and Certificate Programs
Sessions College for Professional Design is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and accredited at the certificate program level by Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools. Sessions College offers accredited online degrees as well as accredited certificate programs. Copies of accreditation and licensing documents can be provided to enrolled or prospective students upon request from the Financial Aid department.
What Accreditation Means
Accreditation is a certification by a recognized body that a distance education institution has voluntarily undergone a comprehensive study and peer examination that has demonstrated that the institution does in fact meet the established standards. The institution must perform the functions that it claims: that it has set continuing educational goals for students who enroll, offers formal, organized learning experiences and services that enable students to meet these stated goals, and can, in fact, show that students and graduates have benefited from the learning experiences provided.
Accreditation ensures that as an institution, Sessions College for Professional Design meets certain standards. It is a promise that our institution will provide the quality of continuing education courses it claims to offer. Accreditation assures the student that the institution operates on a sound financial basis, has an approved program of study, qualified instructors, adequate facilities and equipment, effective recruitment and admission policies, and advertises its courses truthfully. Historically and currently, accreditation may be said to:
Foster excellence in education through the development of standards for assessing educational effectiveness;
Encourage improvement through continuous self-evaluation and planning; and
Assure the educational community, students, state and federal authorities, the general public and other interested agencies or organizations that this continuing education institution has clearly defined and appropriate objectives; maintains conditions under which their achievement can be reasonably expected; appears in fact to be accomplishing them; and can be expected to continue to do so.
(Definition provided by DEAC.)
Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
Sessions College for Professional Design is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is a nationally recognized educational association and accrediting agency located in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1926, DETC's mission is to promote sound educational standards and ethical business practices in distance learning. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
The DEAC has emerged as a leading accrediting association in global distance learning. DEAC has accredited members in Australia, Japan, and throughout the United States. With its 85 years of history and its highly refined and federally recognized accreditation program, DEAC offers distance learning institutions relevant and rigorous academic and business standards.
To learn more, visit the DEAC site.
Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools
Sessions College for Professional Design certificate programs are regionally accredited by The Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools. The Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools is one of three Commissions that function within Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The others are the Commission on Higher Education and the Commission on Elementary Schools. The Commission on Secondary Schools serves both public and non-public schools in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. In addition, it accredits schools in the Caribbean as well as various locations around the world.
The Commission on Secondary Schools (CSS) was established in November, 1920 to promote the improvement of secondary education and to secure better coordination and understanding between secondary schools and institutions of higher education. It serves public and non-public middle, intermediate, and/or secondary schools, non-degree granting vocational technical and postsecondary institutions, special purpose schools, supplementary education centers, and distance education institutions.
To learn more, visit the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools site.
Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education
Sessions College for Professional Design is licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.
The Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education licenses and regulates 195 private postsecondary educational institutions that operate vocational and degree programs in Arizona. Institutions licensed by the Board include private universities, colleges, career colleges, and vocational schools that serve approximately 321,000 students each year, including Arizona residents and online students across the nation and around the world.
In addition to acting on school license applications, the Board determines compliance, investigates complaints and violations, takes disciplinary action, confiscates and retains student educational records from closed institutions, provides students with access to their educational records, and administers the Student Tuition Recovery Fund, which provides financial restitution to students injured by private postsecondary institutional closures.
To learn more, visit the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education site.
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)
On July 26, 2015, Sessions College was approved by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements as a SARA institution. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. Its goal is to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts.
To learn more, visit the NC-SARA site.
All of our programs are approved by the Arizona Veterans Education and Training Approving Agency, including all Chapters of the GI Bill as well as Vocational Rehab (Chapter 31).
In addition, Sessions College is an approved Department of Defense College and a signatory of the 2014 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the President's Executive Order #13607. Under the MOU the Programs are approved for enrollment by all active duty personnel under Tuition Assistance (TA), and military spouses under the MyCAA program.
Sessions College for Professional Design is a member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA).
The USDLA is a non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets.
The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry.
To learn more, visit the USDLA site.
If you wish to file an official complaint with Sessions College, please follow the Student Grievance Policy outlined in our Student Handbook. Individuals who have exhausted our official grievance procedures and wish to file a complaint with our state licensing authority or institutional accreditors may do so at the following Web pages:
The Arizona SARA Council has jurisdiction over Arizona SARA-approved institutions and may be approached with any non-instructional complaint.
Prior to registering a non-instructional complaint with the Arizona SARA Council, the student/complainant must complete the Sessions College and the Arizona Board of Private Postsecondary Education complaint process, as outlined in the Student Handbook. Non-instructional complaints may be made at this NC-SARA page.
Students are also entitled to contact state authorization or accrediting agency contacts for specific issues. For online students who are residents of states outside of Arizona, complaints may be directed state consumer protection agencies, listed in this document.
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