Notary Public & Legal Support Network Blog

Friday, November 23, 2007

Approved distance learning schools

The following distance learning schools/colleges have been approved by our Network:

  • The Paralegal Institute -- an accredited two year college that offers various paralegal and criminal justice related programs. One of the oldest and most respected paralegal schools in the country.
  • Washington Online Learning Institute -- This school is regionally accredited and offers many programs relating to paralegal studies. The only downfall about this school is that they're fairly new. For all we know, the school might go out of business in a year or two. (Note: "fairly new" in this context = under 10 years old).
  • Blackstone Career Institute -- This school is accredited and offers basically the same courses that The Paralegal Institute offers.
  • National Paralegal College -- This college offers basically the same courses that Blackstone Career Institute and The Paralegal Institute offers. The downfall about this school is that they're fairly new.

Our Network attorney has verified that all of the schools are licensed by the State they operate in and are accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

The attorney highly recommends The Paralegal Institute because they have a wonderful curriculum and have been specializing in legal careers since 1974. The Paralegal Institute is one of the oldest paralegal schools in the country.

If any member would like the attorney to review any other distance learning school, please log in and submit the schools information. Remember, according to the USDE and CHEA, national accreditation and regional accreditation are equal. Most of the information you read on the Internet about the regional accreditation v. national accreditation controversy is outdated.


  • The Washington Online Learning Institute (WOLI) is not new. It was founded in 1999. It has graduated thousands of students. It is highly accredited and is very healthy both financially and academically, offering hundreds of paralegal courses and certificate programs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 24, 2007 at 8:06 PM  

  • Hi Paralegal Jane,

    "Fairly new" may have been the wrong words to describe WOLI. I should have written "under 10 years old."

    I have been reading a lot about WOLI and they seem to be a wonderful place for a paralegal to continue their education. This is why we approved of WOLI.

    You wrote, "[i]t is highly accredited. . ." There is no such thing as "highly accredited", according to CHEA and the U.S. Department of Education. WOLI is accredited, but their accreditation status is just as valid as the other schools listed.

    The whole regional v. national issue began to fade 3-5 years ago and will continue even more as time goes on. In fact, some regional accreditors have entered into recognition agreements with national accreditors (i.e., DETC). I believe WOLI's regional accreditor has entered into a recogniting agreement with DETC.

    By Blogger Korey -Founder-, At November 25, 2007 at 10:07 AM  

  • The Paralegal Institute is probably the best bet because everyone knows that a degree is far more superior then a certificate.

    The Washington Online Learning Institute seems like it would be the second best bet. I don't care for WOLI because their certificates read, "Washington ONLINE Learning Institute" [emphasis added on 'ONLINE'].

    A lot of employers may disregard the certificates earned at WOLI because of the "online" attribute. Sadly, there are some people in this world who go against the U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation and say that "distance learning is a waste of time!" *Not true, of course*

    So would an employer want a certificate on their office wall showing their employee went to school online?

    Also, the mere fact that WOLI can't issue degree's may tell members of the public that they aren't all that great. Just my 2 cents.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 4, 2007 at 1:18 PM  

  • Hi MA_Lawer_Dude,

    I understand what you're saying about WOLI. I've never enrolled in any of their courses so I can't really give a reliable opinion.

    Our Network attorney agrees with you about The Paralegal Institute. I just learned that Blackstone has been around longer then TPI. Blackstone, however, isn't approved to issue degree's last time I checked.

    The Paralegal Institute is probably the best distance learning paralegal school you'll find.

    By Blogger Korey -Founder-, At December 4, 2007 at 2:01 PM  

  • Well according to a Dec. 2007 survey conducted by the Associated Press and U.S. News and World Report, Washington Online was voted one of the top ten paralegal schools in the country, including both online and traditional classrooms. I believe it is the only school listed here that has that distinction.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At March 21, 2008 at 2:32 PM  

  • Hi Joseph Hiller, Esq:

    They probably are one of the best. Again, I'm not against WOLI.

    If a person is trying to earn a degree, they should enroll in The Paralegal Institute because they are approved to grant Associate Degrees in Paralegal Studies.

    If a person wants to earn a certificate, then they should enroll with WOLI. If they want more then a certificate and want a degree, then they should enroll with The Paralegal Institute (note: this is the opinion of our Network attorney).

    If a person doesn't have a degree, then I would strongly suggest they earn one. Many jobs nowadays require at least an Associate Degree before they will even look at your resume. Depending on the job, they don't care what you majored in, they only care that you have a degree.

    I went to a "traditional college" in Massachusetts and earned a degree in paralegal studies.

    By Blogger Korey -Founder-, At March 21, 2008 at 10:08 PM  

  • Our firm, Wilson, Elsner Picket and Theorux, has used WOLI for training our paralegals, going on five years now. We have an active continuing ed program for our staff; in fact they are required to take at least 8 weeks of continuing education per year in order to qualify for an accelerated seniority status and higher salaries. WOLI has done a great job helping us facilitate this advanced learning incentive program, and educating our staff, more than a dozen of our our top paralegals so far. We are exceedingly pleased with the consistent quality of the education. I am not surprised to learn of their additional awards.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 13, 2008 at 12:23 PM  

  • The Paralegal Institute is the best choice for those individuals who don't have a degree and want one to add more credibility to their work.

    I work for the Commission on Civil Rights ( as a Paralegal Specialist and I earned my degree from The Paralegal Institute.

    Although it took me two years to earn my degree at The Paralegal Institute, I'm glad I earned it through them. The courses I took were wonderful and were up to date. The staff and teachers were prompt in answering my questions. They were great!

    The faculty/teachers are all experienced attorneys..... In summary, if you're looking for a quality education, be sure to enroll in The Paralegal Institute. They can be found here:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 16, 2008 at 11:21 AM  

  • I enrolled in The Paralegal Institute a few years ago and was impressed! I was on active duty with the military and needed to find an accredited college that would allow me to change my mailing address often :D .

    I earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice through The Paralegal Institute and was very happy with my learning experience and knowledge I gained. I now work as a police officer and am still active in the Army.

    I advise everyone who is serious about their education to enroll in The Paralegal Institute.

    Why would you earn a certificate when you can earn an accredited degree for nearly the same price you'd pay for a certificate at WOLI?

    The Paralegal Institute is accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education AND Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

    Do the smart thing and enroll in TPI and earn your degree. They can be found here

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 17, 2008 at 11:27 AM  

  • 2 Testing of Online Courses

    In a classroom situation a teacher can monitor students and visually uphold a level of integrity consistent with an institution's reputation. However, with distance education the student can be removed from supervision completely. Distance education has long had trouble with testing. The delivery of testing materials is fairly straightforward, which makes sure it is available to the student and he or she can read it at their leisure. The problem arises when the student is required to complete assignments and testing. Online courses have had difficulty controlling cheating in quizzes, tests, or examinations because of the lack of teacher control.

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