10 Rules To Know When Choosing Online Distance Education Colleges
Accreditation – accreditation is very important because it ensures that an institution meets or exceeds an established set of educational standards. This means that courses from an accredited online distance education college are likely to be transferable to other accredited online or traditional colleges. Your current and prospective employers will look positively at degrees earned from an accredited institution making it easy to earn a promotion or get a new job.
Be aware of degree mills – there are many questionable accrediting agencies out on the internet that are outright fraud and are willing to give fake “accreditation” to any institution willing to pay a certain fee. Some of the degree mills are even owned by these same fake accrediting agencies. Make sure you do your homework and thoroughly investigate the accreditation that the college of your choice claims to have. While many online colleges are legitimately accredited, be aware that there are many that are not. Check out your prospective college to see if the accrediting body is approved by the United States Department of Education or CHEA.
Does the college and degree program you wish to pursue fit with your long-term goals and career? if you are thinking let’s say, enrolling in an online associate degree program and later hope to earn a bachelors degree (online or campus), find out how likely it is that your associate degree coursework will transfer by looking for a list of colleges which have accept transfer credits.
Just like in a traditional classroom, class size is important. You want to be in a class where your voice can be heard. So check the class size of the college you’re considering.
How about the qualification of the faculty in the program that you’re interested in? What degrees do they hold? From which institutions? What experience do they have in the subject they teach? Do they have experience teaching online classes? Do your homework and get answers to avoid been taught by other students like yourself.
Find out if it easy to contact your instructor or administration should you have questions or need help. The level of support offered to students varies considerably from college to college. Choose one in line with your needs and expectations.
One of the great things about online distance education programs is that you can begin almost anytime. Thus you shouldn’t let anyone rush you into starting your program until you feel ready to put the time and effort it will require for you to succeed.
Check out if your program will be offered entirely online or if it will require residency at some point in the course. Some online courses have site projects and require residency so let this not come as a surprise to you.
Check if the institution you’re interested in offers any form of financial aid assistance. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out that financial aid, loans and the scholarships available to you. In addition, many colleges and universities offer tuition installment plans which help make college more affordable. Ask before you enroll whether such programs exist.
Don’t settle for less than quality programs and education when selecting your online distance education program. Unlike there before, when online degree options were severely limited, it is now possible for those willing to spend some time gathering information to find almost exactly the degree program that meets their needs.