How Can I Find an Accredited Online Sonography School?
Identifying your potential school’s accreditation status is one of the most essential steps in determining which online sonography school you will attend. Without proper accreditation, there is no guarantee that a school will be able to adequately prepare its students for a career in sonography or provide a worthwhile education for its students. If you want to truly earn your degree, after training that is rigorous enough to meet acceptable standards in sonography education, it is imperative that you find an accredited online sonography school or an accredited program at an online school that lists training in sonography as one of several offerings. Remember: Accreditation can be both institutional or programmic, meaning the school itself can be accredited and the programs offered at a school can be individually accredited.
An excellent resource for finding reputable, accredited programs is the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) website. You can search an extensive list of accredited online programs by choosing “Diagnostic Medical Sonographer” as your profession of choice and then selecting “Online/Distance Education” to narrow down your search. The CAAHEP exists to review and accredit programs in health science occupations and is the largest programmatic accrediting body in the health sciences field. More than 2,000 educational programs have been accredited through CAAHEP in 20 health-related occupations.
Reputable programs should follow minimum curriculum and clinical education standards recognized by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, according to the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS). Programs that provide limited opportunities for students to apply classroom instruction and technical skills in patient care settings are not a good choice, the SDMS says, so take a look at how much hands-on training you might experience.
U.S. Department of Education
When looking for schools online, one of the first things you should do is search a school’s website for information on the school’s accreditation. Once you find the school’s accreditation status, it is a good idea to verify the accrediting body itself to make sure it is legitimate. Phony schools have been known to create nonexistent accrediting bodies to make themselves seem legitimate. One way to verify an accrediting body is through the U.S. Department of Education’s list of recognized accrediting bodies, both regional and national. The U.S. Department of Education is also another excellent resource for finding accredited postsecondary institutions. Search their database to see if your online sonography school is listed.