Stratford Career Institute was founded in 1991 as a privately owned educational correspondence school. It is designed to give students an opportunity to complete a high school diploma or receive a certification in the area of study of their choice, all from the comforts of their own home.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Programs
Our Score
#1
$79
100+
7.5
#2
$210
50+
6.7
#3
$700+
100+
6.4
#13
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Varies
62
4.3

The Good

Perhaps you weren’t the most studious person in high school, or maybe life’s circumstances didn’t allow you to complete your high school studies. Or, maybe you are looking for a certificate in an area of study in an effort to improve your job outlook or simply to learn new skills and information. Stratford Career Institute offers a number of excellent ways to help you achieve your goals.

  • Offerings. There is no shortage of distance learning courses you can take. The list of 62 courses can be found on the institution’s website and includes studies in a number of useful disciplines and subjects. Anything from forensic science to plumbing, and a host of areas in between, are available. Whatever your interest is, you’re likely to find a course of study that fits you best.
  • Flexibility. Going back to school or finishing what you started but didn’t complete for whatever reason is a noble endeavor. But doing it isn’t as easy as it may sound. Not everyone has the flexibility and resources to spend hours a day in a classroom. Work and family obligations are barriers to this. But with Stratford Career Institute, your classroom is your living room (or whatever location you choose). The institute allows you to complete coursework where you’re comfortable without having to be confined to a schoolroom.
  • Course completion requirements. A lot of online and distance learning programs are intense and super-condensed into tight time frames. Six-, four- and even two-week courses are not uncommon. But with Stratford Career Institute, you can take your time if necessary. Likely, you have demanding job requirements and family commitments. So with Stratford, you can take a course of your choice and spend the time you need. Usually, you can take up to two years to complete the course. But, if you’re a fast worker or simply want to get through the course quickly and move on to other things, that’s fine to. Take the time that suits you best.
  • Application process. Enrolling in a course is simple. The application process can be done online and can be completed in minutes. Within no time, you can be taking the course of your choice. Plus, there is no application fee.

The Bad

Be careful when selecting a distance learning institution when taking courses or attaining a certification. There are also aspects you must be aware of that could be viewed as negatives. Here are some of Stratford Career Institute’s cons:

  • Cost. Most certifications and courses or close to $1,000. That’s for one course. Yes, you can spread it over a year or even two, but that is still a high price to pay for a course. If you figure at a college or University, a full load is typically three of four courses per semester, it’s easy to see that the cost at Stratford is uncomfortable.
  • Not accredited. Be warned that Stratford has no accreditation from any certified national or regional accreditation body. Generally, this means that any college or university will not recognize your diploma or certification. So, essentially, your course certification can be for your own personal satisfaction or simply for additional knowledge that may help you in your job or future career. But don’t expect it to be valid in the eyes of any reputable institution of higher learning. If you are looking for an accredited opportunity to further your education, Stratford will not be the best choice.
  • Credits not transferable. Because of the point above, it’s unlikely any credits will transfer to a college or university. Other distance learning institutions may accept transfer credits, but that is solely up to the institution’s discretion.
  • Flexibility, revisited. Perhaps this is an odd criticism, but the flexibility Stratford offers can easily be considered a negative, too. Unless you are a go-getter, self-starter and self-motivator, the lax completion time guidelines can make it difficult to finish the work. It would be so easy for the average person to procrastinate or even completely set aside the work until it is too late.

The Bottom Line

Distance education is becoming increasingly popular, especially among working adults. But even the younger crowd can be drawn to this form of learning, as it allows for a person to set his or her own pace and go at the speed with which they are comfortable. There is not as much pressure or stress involved when you essentially have all the time you need to finish up. From this standpoint, Stratford is an solid option.

The problem is, what value is there to spend hundreds of dollars and possibly months of your precious time when the work you are doing is not even from an accredited institution? What are you really getting out of your efforts? If you simply want to learn and to become more knowledgeable, there are cheaper, more appealing options.

We recommend choosing an accredited institution.

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7 Stratford Career Institute Reviews

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  1. User Score

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    August 24th, 2016 Spring Valley, CA

    This school is a scam!!!! READ ALL YOUR CONTRACT IF YOU DEAR TO ENROLL!!!!! THEY WILL GET YOU FOR A $170.00 IF YOU DO NOT CANCEL IN FIVE DAYS!!! THE MATERIAL IS POINTLESS BECAUSE ALL YOU DO IS READ!!! ITS A WASTE OF TIME!!! IT IS NOT ACCREDITED WHICH MEANS YOUR DIPLOMA WILL NOT BE RECOGNIZED WITH EMPLOYERS AND THE CREDITS ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE!
    I AM NOT HAPPY!!!😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡 HORRIBLE SCHOOL!!!!! 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

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  2. User Score

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    July 13th, 2016 Bakersfield, CA

    Stratford states they “Evaluate and obtain the latest and best textbooks, produced by leading publisher in order to keep their programs up to date. It is obvious EVALUATION is not in the review due to ACCURACY in the material. As far as priority response time goes after requesting a review of a question and waiting a few days I never did receive a response, so that is a negative as well. As far as speedy telephone response, if you do not like being on hold for as much as 30 minutes, then again negative. Once you get a representative generally a young person who is already on the offensive with a bad attitude who already knows more than the rest of the world. So Save your money or light cigars with it. It will be just as useful.

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  3. User Score

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    May 17th, 2016 Russellville, AR

    Stratford Career Institute is a diploma mill & issues false credentials using outdated booklets. The books issued can be found on Amazon for less than $20. You’re paying 700 for $100 worth of books, a few tests, & fake diploma. IF you ask ask about this, you are blocked from contacting them on facebook. They refuse to answer if you contact them via their website. I have filed a complaint with the BBB regarding this company. DON’T USE THIS COMPANY!! THEY ARE A SCAM. I urge”students” to default on ALL payments still owed to this company. A class action lawsuit should be filed to have them closed down.

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  4. User Score

    10

    April 12th, 2016 Farmington, MN

    Well I can say I recieved my diploma from Stratford and it was accepted in a university! Also I took a class for a certification- the knowledge I gained land me a apprenticeship. Which now I’m at $40 an hour. Knowledge is power it doesn’t matter where you attend but where you begin and decide to do with what you learned!

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    April 11th, 2016

    This place is a scam. They state the are accredited but the certificate I would have received is not recognized by my state and would not be sufficient for me to take the State exam. Wasted time and money. The is is a very shady place that takes advantage of people trying to better themselves . Deceptive place.

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  6. User Score

    10

    March 16th, 2016 Tampa, FL

    I have received my NATURAL HEALTH certification from Stratford. The books and material are very informative. I loved the feedback on line was accessible. I enjoyed Stratford. It was very affordable. I wish more funding was available per se the government willingness to help.

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  7. User Score

    2

    March 3rd, 2016

    There seem to be little or no bang for the buck. I would pay more for an accreditation and accreditation

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