By the time the coronavirus pandemic corralled students indoors and transformed homes into lecture halls, WorldQuant University (WQU) already possessed a five-year record of demonstrating the value in providing quality education presented entirely online. The institution reached a major milestone this year when it achieved accreditation, effective from 29 January 2021.
By partnering with WQU in the areas of technical support, the Hubble Studios team gained increased insight into the commitment to quality and ethical practice that the attainment of accreditation demands.
Accreditation opens doors
“Talent is equally distributed globally, but opportunity is not”: WQU’s motto is put into practice through their presentation of the Master of Science in Financial Engineering (MScFE) Program. This Program empowers graduate students to continue their studies in an in-demand field without the financial burden of tuition fees, and from anywhere in the world.
Accreditation means that WQU has been formally and publicly recognised as a provider of high-quality tertiary education. Students who graduate from the Program now have the opportunity to pursue PhD studies, and to signal to potential employers that they possess a reputable qualification that adds value to their expertise.
Accreditation process – reinforcing the value of fully-online education
The accrediting body is the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Accreditation was a multi-year process comprised of qualitative and quantitative evaluation. The DEAC inspects a multitude of institutional operations in fine detail. WQU was assessed on academic quality, curriculum requirements, faculty, student services, ethical business practices, academic support services, learning and research resources, administrative capacity, and financial capacity. http://www.deac.org/
Putting students first – fostering a learning community that spans the globe
Hubble Studios worked closely with WQU staff and Faculty, to build a student support system that sets students up for success. Through the accreditation evaluation period and beyond, we made and continue to make a concerted effort to ensure that all our inputs aligned with the accrediting body’s standards.
We learnt early on that enhancing student experience is a top priority and pairing appropriate technologies to match students’ lived experience is a given. Though the MScFE program is entirely free, we are sensitive to the reality that students have chosen WQU as a program that will add value to their careers, and into which investing their scarce time and effort is worthwhile. Thus, any technical implementation is delivered with this in mind. Similarly, all technical queries raised by students are treated with compassion by members of the FERPA-trained Hubble Studios Support Team, and in close collaboration with the University’s faculty and staff.
We also learnt that in supporting quality online learning, it is important to think from the student perspective and to know the learning platform, as well as the University’s policies and values inside and out. This allows us to pre-empt issues or questions before they arise, and to prepare accordingly. Maintaining quality requires constant feedback and improvement; pro-active support is vital, and through continuous quantitative and qualitative analysis of incoming queries, we can monitor trends and identify areas for improvement.
Accreditation is just the beginning
As we join WQU staff, management, faculty, and students in celebrating their new accredited status, the University aims to expand its reach and to continue to attract and empower talented graduates. WorldQuant University’s next goal is to improve student experience, enrich its quality curricular content, and fine-tune the program delivery technology throughout 2021.
Read more about accreditation at https://www.wqu.org/blog/worldquant-university-granted-accreditation-from-the-distance-education-accrediting-commission/