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Why A Nationally Accredited College is the Best Option for a Film Student.

What is National Accreditation?

National accreditation is accountability to industry best practices

National accreditation is awarded to a school when it meets specific criteria set forth by an accrediting agency. For instance, Compass College of Cinematic Arts has been accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), most recently renewed in 2017. According to the ACCSC, accreditation is an accountability framework for institutions that first and foremost seeks to ensure that institutions offer well-developed programs that prepare students for their chosen fields of work.

The standards of Accreditation outline the expectations for accredited member institutions in such areas as:

  • Management and Administrative Operations,
  • Program Requirements,
  • Educational Administration and Faculty Qualifications,
  • Student Recruiting and Advertising,
  • Admissions Policies and Practices,
  • Student Services,
  • Student Achievement, and
  • Distance Education

These standards and the ongoing accountability ensure that Compass College of Cinematic Arts maintains minimum best practices in all areas of the institution. As a result, our students and their families can rest assured that they are receiving a high quality education.

NOTE: While our institution maintains incredibly high standard for our educational and operational activities, each institution of higher education sets its own transfer policies. If you are looking to Compass College as merely a start to your college education, you will want to check with you other institutions of choice that they accept regionally accredited courses.

Why Compass College Maintains it’s National Accreditation

National Accreditation flexibility to provide hands-on education

Maybe you’ve noticed, but there are different types of accreditations and numerous accrediting agencies for colleges and universities. You might be wondering, “What’s the difference?” or “How do I know which accreditation is right for my program?” Those are great questions and is here to help.

The ACCSC identifies itself as an accrediting agency for "vocational schools." That term, Vocational School, has gotten a bad wrap over the years. What it really means is that Compass College is teaching its students a trade – the trade of visual storytelling. We train practitioners. We give our graduates the skills to walk onto their first job and feel confident that they know what they are doing.

Another important aspect to the decision to be nationally accredited, rather than regionally accredited, has to do with flexibility. Regionally accredited schools require every student to take a minimum of 10 classes in general education subjects. Furthermore, their focus is more on the classroom setting. By comparison, Compass students still take 4 general education classes, but experience a significant amount of lab hours. Students graduating from our Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program will step into their film and media career with over 1,000 hours of experience working on supervised sets. That is a significant amount of experience! Furthermore, our freshmen learn how to use the highest grade of professional cameras and create their first film in their first semester. This focus on receiving hands-on education is why national accreditation is the right fit for Compass College and any student who is serious about a film and media career.

Watch Some Short Videos About How Our Students Benefited From Our Hands-On Approach
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Who Else Is Accredited By The ACCSC?

National accreditation has been awarded to other reputable schools

It may be helpful to see what other schools have opted for a national accreditation instead of a regional accreditation. This list is not comprehensive, but includes some of the largest and fastest growing colleges and universities in the nation.

  • Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)
  • Purdue University: Global
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Full Sail University
  • Western Governors University
  • LA Film School
  • New York Film Academy

Again, this is not a comprehensive list, but displays that other reputable schools have also opted for a national accreditation. Specifically, many art schools opt for this accreditation for the reasons mentioned above.

How Does This Accreditation Help Me Pursue My Dream Of Being A Visual Storyteller?

National accreditation helps you become a professional, not a theorist.

Surely, you have already started to pick up on some of the reasons that Compass College of Cinematic Arts has opted for a national accreditation. Still it may be helpful to spell this out even further. While there are more than 4 ways that our accreditation helps Compass students, these 4 are the most impactful.

Guaranteed Best Practices

Every college that is accredited is visited every few years where their accredited status is reevaluated. Not only are these schools evaluated by individuals from the ACCSC, but they are evaluated by representatives from other ACCSC schools. That cross-evaluation helps to ensure that each of the schools are evaluated fairly and with an eye for keeping a competitive edge.

Access to Financial Aid

Federal and state funding agencies require institutions of higher education to be accredited in order to receive funds. That means that our national accreditation provides our students access to important funding such as Stafford Loans, Pell Grants, and the Michigan Tuition Grant. We believe that every student with a passion for film, and the drive to work hard, should be able to develop the skills to be successful. Finances shouldn’t be the reason why a student doesn’t pursue their passion.

More Film & Media Classes

As mentioned above, our students don’t fill their semesters with general education classes. We know why you’re here. You want to learn the film and media industry. That laser focus makes a huge difference in the quality of our graduates. In your very first semester you learn how to form stories and capture them on camera. From small projects, to the Red Workshop, to the Core Shoot, students jump right into the action in their first semester. All of that is thanks to our national accreditation.

More Hands-On Experience

Most film programs stick you into a classroom for the first 2 or 3 years. They find it is best to make sure you have been taught the theory and fundamentals of film before you go out and actually make a film. Not Compass College! We find that our students are creative and they learn best through hands-on instruction. Our classes are generally 60% lecture and 40% labs. That means you take your lesson from Tuesday and put it to work on Thursday. We are so proud to offer our BFA graduate a minimum of 1,000 hours of working on sets during their program. That ability to flex between the classroom and the film set is so much easier with our ACCSC accreditation.

Hopefully this has been helpful as you consider your future as a visual storyteller. You deserve a great education. You deserve to enroll in a school that you know has done its homework and built a program specifically with you in mind.

If you want a film degree with significant hands-on experience at an affordable price, then Compass College of Cinematic Arts is the right fit for you.

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