What are the most important things to consider when selecting an online degree program?
What was your online or distance education experience like?
I just wrote a hub about this yesterday:
http://curiad.hubpages.com/hub/On-Line- … -Education
There are a few things to look for, Is the school accredited, will the "Degree" be worth anything in the industry or to employers?
I would thing the first would be accreditation. I wouldn't bother if they are not accredited. Secondly cost, online schooling is horrendously expensive - and some more than others.
I took about a year of college correspondence before everything was online and it was great. I learned so much and enjoyed every minute of it.
Some of the most important things to consider when comparing online schools include:
» Accreditation. It is very important that the school that you attend is accredited. What this means is that the U.S. Department of Education has reviewed the school and agrees that it offers an education that meets at least a minimum standard. This is important for you because you want to make sure that you learn what you need to learn while you’re in college. It is also important because people who get degrees from schools that are not accredited may find it difficult to get a job.
» Cost. We all have to worry about how much it is going to cost us to attend school. This is true for people attending online degree programs, of course. Make sure that you consider the cost of the school as well as the cost of books, software and other fees. Also consider whether or not you’ll be able to get financial aid through the school.
» Convenience. Many people choose online schools because they are more convenient than campus-based schools. They usually offer flexibility in terms of when you “attend” your classes. However, this isn’t always the case. Make sure that the school you select is going to offer classes and testing in a manner that is truly convenient for you.
I would say that time is something to take into consideration. Be honest and ask yourself, do I really have the time to devote to an online degree program?
Be prepared to devote a lot of time your online classes or even distance learning program. Not only do you have to do homework but you also have to be very active in group discussions, on-site class work, and class projects or group projects.
The only thing that's convenient about online courses is that all you have to do is turn on your computer.The work load is about three times more then that of a traditional college course.
Another thing to think about is how long it will actually take you to finish the program. The longer it takes the more money you will be shelling out in the end.
Your end game.
What are you going to do with this degree?
What career do you want to have?
Is this the right major for that career?
How much does the degree cost compared to what it pays?
What level of education is required to succeed in that field?
Which colleges are preferred or viewed more favorably by the companies in that field?
Is the career this degree will lead me toward what I want to do for the rest of my life? (if not why are you doing it?)
Here are some things you must consider when selecting an online program:
• Accreditation: By far, the most important criterion. Accreditation signifies that the college provides a high quality of training and follows set rules and regulations as laid down by the accrediting agency. It's a measure by which employers can determine the worth of your degree.
• Support: Find out if the school provides guidance. Is there an interface which lets you interact with the faculty in case you face any problem? Find out how long does it take for your queries to be answered by email. Additionally, also find out whether the school offers placement assistance once you graduate
• Program content: Compare the program content with that of a reputed, brick and mortar college. Apply only if you feel the course content is at par with that of a reputed program offered by a well-known college.
• Your commitment to the program: Online programs sound easy, but they are not. They are convenient and flexible, but studying for an online degree requires a lot of discipline, commitment, and self-motivation. Ask yourself if an online degree would work out right for you.
Take all the above factors into consideration when selecting an online program. Also, make sure the college you choose has a physical presence. It lends more credibility to the degree. If you're seriously considering online programs, check out the programs offered by Stevens-Henager College, an accredited college that offers online degrees in addition to its off-campus programs. Explore as many colleges as you can, it'll give you a wide and better variety to choose from.
http://linkedin.com/groups/Official-Ste … rk-3182821
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