Assessing Far and Wide: The Accreditation of Distance Education

Leah Matthews

Zoom lectures might be new to some students, but distance education is not, and neither is its accreditation.

In this episode, Leah Matthews joins the podcast to speak about her role as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). DEAC is in its 96th year of operating as a quality assurance body for distance education. But what exactly does that mean?

To Leah, personally, it means quite a lot. Her life’s work has been to develop accreditation procedures to serve and protect students and communities.

Come along as we explore some timely topics in the accreditation world such as the accreditation of distance education, improvements to better protect students, and the future of accreditation.

Join us as we discuss:

  • The quality review process of distance education programs
  • NC-SARA’s importance to the success of distance education in America
  • How the four regional compacts are champions for student protection
  • Evaluating student-readiness for distance learning through accreditation standards
  • The process of developing assessment standards as an accreditation commission

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:
WCET
Quality Matters
EDUCAUSE
Regional Compacts:

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Leah Matthews

Leah Matthews currently serves as the Executive Director of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission located in Washington, DC. The DEAC is a private, non-profit accrediting organization founded in 1926. Ms. Matthews has over twenty years of experience in higher education accreditation. Her expertise in distance education policy led to her selection as a member of the U.S. Department of Education’s 2019 Distance Education and Innovation Committee. Ms. Matthews has contributed her expertise in distance education that includes serving as Chair of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) a board member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and as vice-president of the board of directors for the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).

Podcast Info

Host: Dr. Amy Dykens, CEO, Weave Education

Guest: Leah Matthews, Executive Director, DEAC

Episode #: 7