Improve Your Future With An Online College Degree!


Going back to school can be an investment in the future, a way to make yourself more marketable, particularly in a tight job market. Internet-based classes and online degree programs make this endeavor convenient; accessible from virtually anywhere students happen to be and at times that don’t interfere with responsibilities such as work and child-rearing.

There are a variety of Internet-only schools as well as “bricks and mortar” colleges with virtual classes and online degree programs from which to choose. But although students enrolled in online classes achieve grades similar to or higher than those who physically attend college, studies show that virtual learners have a greater tendency to drop out. If you need more information about online schools, look on the internet.

Self-motivation and self-discipline are a key to online learning success, said Ladies’ Home Journal Editor-in-Chief Sally Lee. In a Today Show interview with co-host Ann Curry, Lee said that many nurses and businessmen and women have reportedly turned to the Internet as a means of obtaining online Bachelor of Science degrees and online master’s degrees. She advised against passive learning and noted that online communities associated with online study programs can introduce students to assorted others. Interactive online class and online degree offerings are encouraged by the Institute for Higher Education, and they can include two-way video and audio.

An Institute for Higher Education Policy study known as “What’s the Difference?” found that women, married people and individuals with strong literary skills are among the successful online students. Study respondents who thought of themselves as persistent with regard to tackling new projects succeeded with distance learning, according to the study. So too did individuals who considered their management skills to be organized and those who didn’t feel the need for a lot of outside support or interaction.

When taking classes on line or in person, it’s important for students to select a college, university or trade school that suits their needs and goals and to compare costs, after tuition fees and any and all financial aid is taken into account. Individuals interested pursuing distance learning classes and online degree programs particularly should also:

* Whether or not the school is accredited. Six regional boards and a Distance Education and Training Council provide accreditation based on academic standards, and employers as well as institutions accepting transfer credits look for this. Accreditation is also necessary for pursuits such as sitting for the bar exam. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation lists accredited institutions on its Web site and provides information about “degree mills” that require only a few days of study or provide degrees based only on life experience.

* How much support and interaction is associated with the online classes, and how much do you need in a learning environment? There is an abundance of information about college courses online on the web.  

* Set aside the time needed to take online classes, and take studies seriously. Successful online students surveyed for “What’s the Difference?” said they had the time to do what they intended to do and considered the consequences of failure to be serious.

* How confident they are of their success. Students completing online programs rated their chances for success in online learning degrees higher than their dropout counterparts, according to the Institute for Higher Education Policy’s “What’s the Difference?” study.


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