Suppose you were a qualified and experienced math teacher who wants to start a business whose “product” is college-level math classes. In other words, the business is not a school per se with a wide-ranging curriculum or a dean-oriented administrative structure; and not a tutoring center specializing in one-on-one help with schoolwork; but a place that offers multiple-student courses in just three or four different mathematical subjects. It would be a cross between a Sylvan Learning Center and a college/community college — but where only math classes are taught, and in which small class sizes, personal attention, and the range of pedagogical options that are available with small class sizes are used.
The target clientele would be students who need college credit in those subjects but for some reason prefer not to take the courses at an actual college. These would include college students taking courses over the summer, college students who want smaller class sizes than the large university they are attending offers, high school students who want to earn college credit before matriculating, homeschooled students who want college-level courses in their curriculum, adult learners who want a math course for intellectual challenge or a career move, and so on.
The key question is whether or not the courses offered by a business like this, which is not a school, can transfer to colleges for academic credit. Even if you teach the exact same courses as at a university, with high academic standards and a systematized grading system and so on, it seems that this is not the basis for whether a college accepts a course to count for credit. I could teach a really good calculus course out of my living room on Sunday nights, but that doesn’t guarantee that a student “passing” the “course” would be eligible for credit anywhere.
So the question for the audience here is: How would a business such as what I’ve described get into the position of having its courses accepted widely for college credit? Would the regional acrediting agency have to be brought in, or what?