The increasing numbers of students opting to enroll with an online learning institution, combined with the continual evolution of the digital age, has prompted professionals within higher education to address the effect of this growth on accreditation.For centuries, educational accreditation has provided a quality assurance usually by way of governmental or semi-governmental organizations. If a college or university has an accredited status, the qualifications it awards its students are deemed to be fit and proper by potential employers. Critics of this tradition have pointed to escalating tuition fees as a primary cause for disenfranchising middle-class and working class students. These learners, therefore, may be more likely to pursue a course in distance education as it is more financially viable, despite the fact that some of these universities and colleges possess an unaccredited tag.
At a recent Stanford forum, NYU Education and Sociology professor Richard Arum, even raised the call for the pressing need for educational reform, and for the overall re-appraisal of accreditation standards.