How Schools are Selected

Degree-seeking adults bring particular needs to higher education. They need classes and services to work for their schedules. The courses should be affordable. The quality should be on par with full-time, on-campus programs. The degrees should be swiftly achievable, and they should help students advance in their field.

Our qualifications are based on accessibility, affordability, acceleration, and advancement. These make higher education worth the investment for the adult student.


Open to adult and online students in their use of campus resources. The institution welcomes adult students to use its available parking, academic services, libraries, labs, writing centers, math centers, peer tutoring, test taking services, and more.

A model in flexible scheduling. The school offers courses in the evening, weekends, or online to allow adult students to fit their education around other commitments, like family and work.

Availability of resources. Resources are available when adult students are “going to class”. The institution offers student services outside of normal business hours, such as financial aid, registrar, admissions, IT, tutoring, and more.


Transparent about affordability assistance. Through financial aid, reduced tuition, scholarships, grants, and agreements with employers offering tuition-assistance plans, the institution is committed to making the degree affordable.

Transparent about its offerings and programs. The school clearly lays out all information about degree costs, time requirements, and opportunities for adult students.


A leader in accelerating a students’ time to completion. The school offers adult students a direct path to their degree in the most timely and cost-effective way.

Fair in its assessment of credits earned elsewhere. The institution reviews all college credit, certifications, prior learning, military experience, and assessment tests that adult students have already earned and makes fair decisions about which credits can transfer. The school offers as much information as possible to transfer students.

A standard-setter in academic integrity. The school uses proctors or auditing to ensure the academic integrity of their adult students and their adult degree programs.


Graduates are prepared for a lifetime of career changes, not just for their next job. The school ensures that program curriculum is preparing students to be adaptable in an ambiguous job market. Students have a depth of knowledge in a specific discipline, but also a breadth of knowledge and skills so that they are prepared to develop as their career goals and environment changes.

Committed to engaged learning. The school provides adult students with full access to advisors, faculty mentorship, career counseling, student cohorts, and more.

The school includes experiential learning for all students. Every program whether online, weekend, or part-time requires or includes credit for experiential learning. This may include receiving coursework credit for competency based education, or a required internship or capstone project in the degree requirements.

A leader in its discipline with faculty who are experts in the field as well as in the classroom. The school invests in hiring faculty who aren’t just thought leaders, but experts with real-world experience who can draw from that with practical examples to make the learning experience tangible.

Committed to the continual improvement and growth of their program. The school is fully invested in its adult degree program, be it online, hybrid, or on campus. The institution seeks opportunities to strengthen its program standards and self-assess its curricula, learning outcomes, and faculty development.