Online schooling has become somewhat of the new fad in terms of education during the past decade or so. Conventional education, which requires a physical presence during courses, will never die off, of course, despite any kind of SciFi dreams of an entire world schooled by a holographic tablet PCs.
There’s nothing that beats the real interaction and practice which comes with a real course in a real classroom, however nothing beats the online alternative. Before the technological revolution in education, long distance learning used to front; now online schooling offers top notch courses taught interactively, in a very understandable manner. Frequent interactive examinations ensure that you’ll always stay on track, stay concentrated and assimilate as much quality information from the course information as possible. Most importantly, you end up with a much welcomed degree, ranking you higher on both the earnings and social scale.
Choosing the right online school, however, might prove to be difficult. Since a few years now, guided by an ever increasing demand for online education services, and driven by profit, a myriad of universities have sprung out allegedly offering quality courses for a low tuition. The lot of them are unaccredited, low quality, and basically useless.
Here are a few suggestions we recommend you take into consideration when looking for an online school. You’ll be glad you read this article first before commencing your search.
You have to get this right first. If the degree you intend on earning from the online school of your choice isn’t recognized by a legal designated institution in your region, then it’s pretty much useless. The process of validating accreditation is a must especially if you’re looking in earning a life experience degree.
Whether the school is online or conventional, look for an accreditation seal from one of the following US regional institutions: 1) Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools 2) New England Association of Schools and Colleges 3) North Central Association of Colleges and Schools 4) Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities 5) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 6)Western Association of Schools and Colleges Additionally, the Board of Regents of the State of New York is federally recognized as an accreditor.
Looking for such an accreditation is fairly easy, and the harder it is to find, the likely it is the online institution isn’t accredited because they’re hiding the fact. Also, schools can be researched through a database that’s maintained by the U.S. Department of Education.
Like it is the case of conventional educational institutions, some schools are seen better than others. A degree earned from an Ivy League school will likely offer you a lot more opportunities and earning potential than a simple state or community college. The same case applies to online institutions as well.
Curious enough, some institutions which offer online education programs compose their transcripts such that the manner in which the courses have been thought isn’t specified, so there isn’t any difference made, on paper at least, whether you’ve completed your training face-to-face or in front of a computer. Much handy.
Rankings are published by US News & World Report, Barron’s, and other groups, so that might be a good place to start checking. Also, some associations have lists compiled with recommended institutions which meet the professionals’ standards and requirements. A seal of approval from such an institution can be considered a very good sign and remember you can always find cheap degrees with great rankings – a low fee doesn’t necessarily mean low quality.
A high acceptance rate means that the institutions lets about anybody in. You should consider this before spending a lot of time and money on a degree that anyone can earn; you have nothing to differentiate your efforts.
On the other side, try looking for insights on to the completion rate. If a lot of people drop out or for some reason or another don’t finish the course, then there might be some hidden reasons as to why they failed the program – hint: it’s not them, it’s the school.
Solve this by asking the institution delivering the online degree, whether they’d be up for offering you a test session of one of the online courses.
Contacting alumni or other past students of the selected online schools for testimonials is a dead-on approach, which might help you decide once and for all, either in a positive or negative manner.
4. Subject of Study
Some online degrees or modules are better seen and stand a better chance on scoring interviews for the earner if they’re in a technical field. Online degrees tend to help better graduates looking for jobs as an IT specialist, for example, than a writer. Consider this so that your search fits well with your career prospects and direction path. If you’re looking for a non-technical orientation, consider looking for a much sought after institution.