A growing clamor is calling for an accreditor to oversee the quality of college-level learning that occurs outside of college.
The challenge could be taken on by an existing accrediting agency — or a new one — that develops a specialty in non-institutional providers like StraighterLine and Udacity. Or, with more of a trailblazing approach, an accreditor could approve individual courses rather than degrees.
If either idea becomes a reality it would add a seal of approval for a constellation of online course providers and, perhaps, open the door for them to federal financial aid.
Here is further information. On the down side, note that the fixed cost of monitoring and enforcing ongoing standards on a stand-alone individual course may be fairly high, at least relative to the value of that course.