Berkeley College Online® Receives Quality Standards Recertification from the United States Distance Learning Association

Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Contact: Angela Harrington
Vice President,
Communications and External Relations


USDLA Quality Standards Recertification

Berkeley College Online® was recertified by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) for the Quality Standards Certification, a recognition given to institutions and educational providers that meet excellence in 91 best practice standards for distance learning.

The recertification process included a rigorous review of the Berkeley College Online® administration, leadership, management, and faculty, student affairs, and teaching and learning infrastructure, including curriculum, technological platforms, policies, and procedures, and a two-day virtual site visit. On January 26 and January 29, 2021, the visiting site team met virtually with Berkeley College students, administration, faculty, and staff. Upon completion of the process, Berkeley College Online® was unanimously granted recertification. The Quality Standards recertification is effective through February 10, 2026.

Berkeley College has held the Quality Standards Certification distinction since 2013, and was one of the first college or university online programs worldwide to be certified for excellence by USDLA. According to the 2021 Quality Recertification Report, “The two-day virtual site visit was extremely successful. The outstanding campus wide collaboration, genuine pride of the administration, that is obviously student- and faculty-focused, was consistently evident.”

“The USDLA Quality Standards recertification is an acknowledgement of Berkeley College’s online teaching and learning excellence, and of the value of the comprehensive supportive educational experience available to each student,” said Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College. “While other schools are new to remote education, Berkeley College has been succeeding in online education for more than 20 years,” Smith said.

“Distance learning providers use this Quality Certification to verify that they are operating according to the best industry practices. They also find that the Quality Standards program helps to set them well on a path of continuous improvement,” said Ernest R. Smith III, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, USDLA, in his letter notifying the College of the organization’s recertification approval.

“We are delighted to be granted USDLA Quality Standards recertification. It shows Berkeley College’s commitment to online learning, which is especially important to our students during this pandemic,” said Joseph Scuralli, Dean, Online Education, and Dean, Larry L. Luing School of Business. “A key aspect of USDLA certification is continuous improvement, and we look forward to the annual USDLA review process.”

Berkeley College has been a leader in distance learning and online education for more than 20 years. In 2021, the College was ranked for the 8th consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report among the Best Colleges in the nation for Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs and Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Veterans. Berkeley College also ranked in a new category by U.S. News & World Report as among the Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs – Business.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 14% of undergraduate students were enrolled entirely in distance education courses in the fall 2018 semester.[i] In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning and hybrid models have become the standard for post-secondary education. Distance learning is growing in prevalence and importance for college students.

In addition to courses offered online, the full range of Berkeley College’s student support services and resources are available for students to access virtually, including the Library, Academic Advisement, Office of Career Services, Student Development and Campus Life, Office of Disability Services, Center for Academic Success and the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs. Berkeley College also distributed more than 959 laptops to students since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.

Berkeley College celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2021. The theme commemorating this milestone is “Empowering Lives for 90 Years!”

About the United States Distance Learning Association

The United States Distance Learning Association was established in 1987 as the first nonprofit distance learning association in the United States to support distance learning research, development and praxis across the complete arena of education, training and communications. Based in Washington, DC, USDLA’s key focus areas include providing national leadership in the field of distance learning, advocating and promoting the use of distance learning, providing current information on distance learning and providing annual recognition and awards of outstanding achievements in distance learning. For more information about USDLA, visit

About Berkeley College
Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College also offers continuing education programs to enhance career credentials.

Berkeley College has campuses in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, NY, as well as in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 4,900 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population.

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers.

Visit for more information about Berkeley College.



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