Accreditation simply means an institution meets the high level of standards needed to produce quality work in it's programs of study. Thus, an accrediting agency or body reviews the standards, content, processes and procedures among other requirements of an institution to ensure the institution's quality of work is comparable to other institutions offering similar programs of study and also consistently maintains them.
The US department of education (DOE) does not regulate accreditation but rather, appoints other bodies or accrediting agencies to do the job. Since the DOE deals with mostly secular education, it does not place a requirement on Religious or vocational institutions to be accredited. Attending a non-accredited Biblical or vocational school should be least of your worries, as long as the program content is of a high academic standard.
DCI Bible Institute is registered in the state of Ohio. Currently in the USA, there are 28 states including the state of Ohio that allows religious institutions like DCIBIN to operate and confer diplomas for the purposes of religious vocation without obtaining accreditation from the board of education. However, the institution's written materials must be marked with, “this institution is not certified by the board of regents of the state of Ohio.”
DCIBIN has developed a rigorous standard operating procedure, a robust quality management audit system that is used to operate the institution on all levels. The checks and balances enables the school to audit the programs of study, student assessments, faculty instructional materials, academic content delivery standards etc. Accurate records of our internal audits are kept for continuous improvement purposes.
We are currently exploring options to be accredited for the following reasons:
1. Financial Aid: DCIBIN does not participate in the Department of Education's student aid programs as described in section 481 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (which went into effect on August 5, 1997). As such, DCIBIN does not issue 1098-T's to our students for tax filing purposes. There are students who would want to use FAFSA to attend Bible School, as out of pocket cost sometimes become a hindrance for those called into the ministry. Though we do not accept federal financial aid (FAFSA) at this time, the office of alumni manages a limited number of scholarships and sponsorship for students in need.
2. Higher learning Pursuit: There are others who would like to continue their Biblical studies to a higher degree of learning. An accreditation will afford them the ability to transfer their school credits to meet other program requirements or prerequisites.
3. Higher Degrees: Our current program content mirrors a lot of higher level curriculum in an accelerated learning environment. Our Advanced Diploma programs are 90 credit hours (3 year programs), which go beyond the regular standard of a 2 year program or an Associates Degree (60 credits). We do not want to limit the school's ability to confer various diplomas, but rather enable it to offer advanced degree programs for such as a Bachelors degree (4 year undergraduate degrees), Masters ( 2 years of post graduate studies) and Doctoral Programs.