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Succeed With An Online Degree

Updated on February 22, 2016

Online education may be one of the most signifcant ways in which to return to school or gain formalized training that can lead to greater future career advancement or earning potential.

During the last dozen years there has been a tremendous evolution in how people can pursue education in terms of the range and variety of choices. In particular there has been a startling reinvention of the delivery of higher education in the form of online education.

In other words, with today’s technology and interconnected world people can now participate in earning their degree wherever they have access to an Internet connection. This opens up a whole new sea change of opportunity.

Where once time and physical space greatly restricted. Now its practical to consider pursing higher education by literally having the campus come to you.

Without a doubt, with all this newfound access and choice there are some great pitfalls as well.

It is very necessary to thoroughly research the school or organization you plan on attending before deciding to take the plunge. Basically there are two types of schools that make up the mix.

Non-profit institutions

This constitutes the traditional brick and mortar campuses that you’ve come to know in your community, state or country. These are the schools that have the stadiums full of raving fans on a weekend athletic event. They have big revenues through sports budget advertising dollars, alumni contributions and other school endowments and tax dollar revenues. These schools can both be private and public.

For-profit institutions

These schools are made up of organizations that have various educational credentials, and in many cases, the same as top non-profits. Many of these schools function without traditional physical campuses. The classroom is in effect a space located online which operates as an " virtual " classroom.

For profits schools are run by private companies or organizations on a profit-seeking platform. Proponents argue that this attracts the very best in both teachers and students sense it's based on a measurable result of profit and market share.

At first glance the division of these two choices seem rather stark, however upon further examination they have some similarities depending on the actual goals you are pursing.

What they have in common is offering classes in an online format that will facilitate ease of access and efficiency of participation. Each offers a solution to those who are seeking higher education without having to travel to and from a physical campus.

The following is a list of key components for both non-profits and for profits schools as it pertains to online education.

Accreditation

The highest and best accreditation or official recognition and endorsement of a school are known as Regional Accreditation. This is the blue chip standard if you will for all higher learning educational institutions. The designation is based out the physical campus environment. However, top online schools are able to qualify for this same accreditation under the watchful eyes of the Department of Education and North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Online schools may be considered at this same level by maintain the strict measurements in various areas as professor education, classroom size ratio, auxiliary support services, i.e. library, tutoring, career assistance and various other quality standards.

One of the key components of Regional Accreditation is the assurance that the credits you earn during your course of study will be acceptable for transfer to other universities and graduate schools. In addition, it allows you to consider Federal as well as State financial aid options for covering your tuition. An outstanding resource to discover any institutions accreditation is CHEA.org

White Board

The white board is a very important breakthrough in technology in terms of providing the “ classroom “ experience. The concept is that the professor displays information on their desktop or laptop display, which is simultaneously projected on the screen of all of the students who are logged into the classroom. This in essence takes the place of sitting in a physical space at a desk with the professor standing in the front of the class writing on the black board during the lecture.

Scheduled Lecture Time

As mentioned, the lecture that is given by an instructor (professor) can be offered at a particular time. For example, participates of a certain course will “ meet “ on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 – 4 pm. This allows for a sense of continuity between the professor, student and others classmates. A level of accountability that would take place in a physical classroom can occur.

In addition, what is uniquely available with an online platform is the ability to record the “classroom “ experience i.e. questions and answers from classmates and other auxiliary information offered during the live scheduled lecture time. These are made available throughout the semester or quarter for instant retrieval and reinforcement of the course material.

This very important aspect allows for independent study without being alone. The student is able to enjoy the dynamics of individual study and the benefits of being in an organized collective group that can support their pursuit of education.

Office Hours

Just as with a physical campus, quality online educational institutions establish student – teacher office hours. This is done through a set schedule of time availability for signing onto the school website and establishing a chat session with the professor. This can be text only or in some cases it will include a voice and video capability.

Library Resources

What would a quality education be without the use of an outstanding library? Although the Internet is terrific for finding information, it doesn’t take the place of the well-organized repository of knowledge known as the library. By way of a secure connection top online schools have professionally managed and maintained libraries. These library resources greatly assist students in leveraging information to its highest and best levels.

Tutoring

In line with the library system, the ability to tutor or assists students in learning is paramount. It can be conducted in various formats to include small group or one-on-one sessions. The primary purpose is to facilitate the student toward self-mastery of course material and curriculum. As a result of being able to connect online this creates a tremendous advantage over a physical campus.

Technical Support

Whether you’re in a physical classroom with your laptop or at home on your desktop computer during class, technical issues sometime arise. When they do it can be a challenging situation. A solid online school will provide (included with the tuition) around the clock competent technical support to ensure its students as little down time as possible.

Flexible schedule

One of the most compelling features of online education is not only, as mentioned earlier, scheduled lecture times but extreme flexibility in course and class availability options. Generally, speaking a traditional physical campus school would have schedules. Of course this is easily understandable since the professor and student must commute to and from the location in order to meet. Because of the “ virtual “ nature of the online platform more classes and class times are available during the semester or quarter period.

So there you have it, some distinct characteristics pertaining to the consideration of online education. It may not be for everyone, however it is an option that may just be for you.

StayPos!


Comments

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    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR

      StayPos 

      6 years ago from Florida, USA

      bdouble28,

      Your welcome, glad it was a nice read for you!

    • bdouble28 profile image

      bdouble28 

      6 years ago

      Back in my day it was more simple! Thanks for the hub!

    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR

      StayPos 

      6 years ago from Florida, USA

      ecamper,

      Thanks for your comment. Hopefully you are one of those people like myself who has taken advantage of the online learning environment to enhance their education. It's the " school house " of the 21st Century!

    • ecamper23 profile image

      ecamper23 

      6 years ago

      There's definitely traditional colleges jumping on board with online learning because they see how many people need and make use of it.

    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR

      StayPos 

      6 years ago from Florida, USA

      Hey mandymoreno81!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment!

      I'm glad my hub was helpful for you :-)

      Welcome to Hubpages!

      All the Best

    • mandymoreno81 profile image

      mandymoreno81 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for the extensive information about all the types of universities. I've been trying to research it all but it takes forever.

    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR

      StayPos 

      6 years ago from Florida, USA

      cmellon86,

      Glad you found it helpful! There are lots of online education choices available today.

      Hopefully some of these insights are useful in determining which one works best for you.

    • cmellon86 profile image

      cmellon86 

      6 years ago

      This is a great beginner's guide, thanks for the detailed hub!

    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR

      StayPos 

      7 years ago from Florida, USA

      Marilnelanoon233,

      Thanks for the compliment and glad you enjoyed the hub :-)

      As a matter of fact some of the schools, particularly those that are Regionally Accredited do provide what's known as Career Services departments or similar in name.

      The purposes of which are to assist students in preparing for their careers after graduation.

      Just to be clear, it's rare that the assistance would be considered actual job placement.

      Rather, they provide great resources to help students research career field requirements; uncover available opportunities in the market place.

      Additionally, they provide expertise with things like resumes, job-interviewing skills, (role plays/mock phone interviews) and other very practical bits and pieces of solving the puzzle of job and career after graduation.

      I hope that helps.

    • marilnelanoon233 profile image

      marilnelanoon233 

      7 years ago

      Good resource on the basics of online education, do you know if any of the colleges have help for students to find a job after graduation?

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