The following is an e-mail exchange I had with Hank Cram, executive director of the Middle States CSS: Dr Cram, Has Washington Online become accredited? I notice their website, http://www.woli.com/ now says “ “Earn your accredited Paralegal Certificate in 6-10 months at Washington Online, the leading provider of accredited online paralegal education……" I do not see them listed on your website as an accredited institution. His response was: I have visited the Washington On-line web site. It is not clear that they are referencing MSA as the accrediting agency. They may be currently accredited by someone else. They are currently a candidate for accreditation with our organization and should receive their full accreditation in October, 2006. Hank Cram Ed.D. Executive Director Commission on Secondary Schools Middle States Association 3624 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680 www.css-msa.org [email protected] (267) 284-5044 (215) 662-0957 FAX I replied: I happen to know that they are not accredited by anyone else. You should at least highly suspect this to be likely since you have visited them and are therefore familiar with their organization. Claiming to be accredited when one is not is a serious breach of public trust and misleads prospective students. He then replied: According to WOLI the referencing of “accredited Paralegal Certificate” relates to the fact that students can and do earn college credits for their classes through an articulation agreement with the University of Phoenix. It is not a reference to their application to Middle States for accreditation. Hank Cram Ed.D. Executive Director Commission on Secondary Schools Middle States Association 3624 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680 www.css-msa.org [email protected] (267) 284-5044 (215) 662-0957 FAX I was stunned. For a school which is in accreditation candidacy to make a statement such as that to students is highly deceptive and, in my opinion, unlawful. For the head of an accrediting agency, in whom the federal government has entrusted the task of ensuring integrity in education, to condone this is a breach of the public trust. To quote the CSS website: "Standards, you said it!!" I suggest e-mailing Hank Cram about this and set him straight about standards.