Distance learning basics – Online College Blog and School Reviews http://www.online-college-blog.com Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:10:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 Online College Degrees http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/online-college-degrees/ Sat, 16 Aug 2008 01:02:32 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/distance-learning-education/online-college-degrees/ Looking for the best online college degrees and not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place! 

There are many reasons why you tell yourself you can’t go back to school. You have an established career. You have a family. You simply have too many things going on in your life, and can’t commit to going to class.

If you are serious about wanting to get a quality education, but these obstacles block your way, you should look into online college degrees. A degree obtained through a distance education course is the same as a degree earned in-class. There is no distinction on your diploma! You do not have to leave the house for classes or exams, you can study on your own schedule, and it is often much less expensive than traditional higher education.

There are some things to keep in mind when looking for quality online college degrees. You do not want to attend a “diploma mill” type of institution. These are usually online-only and for-profit businesses that will indeed issue you a diploma, but it will not be respected by employers and you will likely not earn the appropriate skills to back it up. Online college degrees from a diploma mill will set you back several thousands of dollars, and you will not get the career boost of a real diploma to offset this. You can avoid these by taking your online program through a respected, accredited university or college that has a campus as well as an online, virtual campus.

Online college degrees have been around since 1995 or earlier, but more recently some big-name institutions have jumped aboard. Harvard offers online courses through the Harvard University Extension School, and although you might not save money in tuition by choosing an online program from Harvard, you get the extreme respect of a Harvard graduate when you have completed your degree. Columbia University has many online courses as well, and you just might find your calling by searching through their many online college degrees.

An employer will give preference to employees with college education, so even if your life is too busy to attend campus classes, it would be beneficial to you to take some online courses. If your degree is from Cornell University or Boston University, your employer is going to be impressed – and he or she won’t know that it was awarded through their online programs. Schools like Penn State University and the University of Florida also offer online college degrees. The formats for all of the courses will vary from institution to institution, so you need to check in with the school you are considering before you commit.

You will not have to pay for residence costs, campus fees and often textbooks with an online course. And just because you are not actually going on campus does not mean that you don’t qualify for financial aid! Many students who are working and working towards online college degrees will apply for and receive federal or state funding. Just as with traditional schooling, it depends on your situation.

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t go back to school – but more reasons why you should. If you are looking to accelerate your career, gain skills and knowledge, increase your salary and open up opportunities for your future, then an online college degree could just be the answer for you.

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5 tips for selecting an online university http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/how-to-select-online-university/ Sun, 09 Dec 2007 20:55:58 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/about-online-degrees/how-to-select-online-university/ Online universities are convenient alternatives to traditional land-based learning institutions. When you educate yourself through your Internet connection, you have the freedom to set your own pace and work according to your own time and money restraints.

Here are five things that you need to consider when choosing an online university:

1.  Reputation

When hunting for an online degree program, you need to make sure that the school you’re considering is accredited and respectable. Research the program’s popularity. Stick with sites and institutions that have proven success rates and a solid reputations. Look at the distance learning options offered by traditional colleges. Read reviews, opinions, and ask about the credentials. Find out about the faculty, who they are and what they teach. Consider the overall user experience of the program. Read testimonials from students who have already gone through the program. With a little bit of investigation, you’ll be able to find a highly regarded and practical online university.

2.  Functionality

When you’re shopping around for an online university, you need to consider the curriculum and how you can apply it in the

working world. Enhance your existing job skills by getting more training. Find a new career by getting a certificate, associates, bachelors or masters degree. Research the practical application of your degree before you start taking classes. You’re going to need to know how your degree will function, in order to get the most out of the online university that you select.

3.  Interests

If you don’t want to develop your career goals, you don’t have to. Online universities are a great way to expand your general interests. Enhance your hobbies with some university training. Learn about fashion design or study a foreign language. Find an online university that offers programs that interest you. Follow your personal tastes and pastimes, and you can find an online program that you can really enjoy and benefit from.

4.  Costs

When you’re deciding between different online universities, consider the costs. Online degree programs are much cheaper than traditional college experiences. The costs for each online program will vary, however, so it’s important that you crunch the financial figures before committing to a particular online institution of higher learning.

5.  Technical requirements

When looking for online schools, make sure that you meet all the necessary technical requirements involved with distance education. You need to have high-speed Internet access, and understand how to stream different audio and media content. As technology continues to advance, the ease of online learning will continue to increase. Even if you hate computers, you’ll be able to figure out how to educate yourself through the Internet. Just make certain that you understand all the technical requirements before you sign up for a particular program.

If you make sure that the online university you select is reputable, practical, interesting, affordable, and technically feasible, then you can be confident that your new pathway to education will be painless and rewarding.

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Related posts:

  1. Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
  2. 2 reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
  3. What jobs best suit your personality? Take an assessment quiz!
  4. Care to test drive an online course?
  5. Five ways to spot a diploma mill
  6. Why you should consider taking online classes
  7. Is online learning right for you?
  8. Importance of online college accreditation
  9. How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility

About the Author: Take a look at more industry related articles by Chris Stout at careersandeducation.com. Chris Stout is a frequent contributor with articles pertaining to using Distance Learning and Career Advice.

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Traditional College vs. Online Degree http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/online-college-or-traditional-college/ Fri, 23 Nov 2007 01:27:10 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/about-online-degrees/online-college-or-traditional-college/ Choosing between traditional college and an online degree program is a very personal decision. You need to consider your own unique situation. Ask yourself what you want from your educational experience. Understand that there is a major difference between online and on-site college learning.

Online degrees can usually be completed in shorter periods of time. The duration is reduced, because the coursework and class layout is streamlined. Students complete assignments individually. Everything is conducted through an Internet connection. If time is a factor, and you need to get your degree as soon as possible, then an online program can be a very valuable option.

Online degree programs are very convenient. You get to work around your current schedule. Availability is a huge concern for people who want to get a degree. College is a huge time investment that many people cannot afford to make. Working professionals cannot simply take breaks for multiple years at a time. People have responsibilities and commitments. Online degree programs let you keep your commitments, while also giving you a very accessible way to earn a college-level education.

Online degrees are considerably less expensive than traditional college programs. When it comes to your education, money is an object that must be considered. College tuition, books, housing and so forth eat up funds like there’s no tomorrow. If you want to invest in a college education, you have to make sure that you can afford it. You have to be certain about what you’re doing. Online degrees give you more leeway. You can explore more options without accruing a large financial risk. You can test the waters and find a subject that you like. In the long run, online degrees will cost a fraction of what you would dish out for a traditional college experience.

So online degrees are trade-offs really. In exchange for lost experiences, you get convenience. You don’t have the thrill of relocating, or the focus of total collegiate immersion. You exposure to new ideas, people, places and practices will be limited by your Internet connection and web browsing capabilities.

With online degree programs, you won’t have the same level of natural interaction and live exchanges. The traditional college support network is replaced by individual motivation and Internet access. The social element is removed from the equation, and all you have to focus on is getting your own stuff done. This can be a motivator or a deterrent, depending on who you are and how you learn.

Balance the pros and cons that are specific to your situation. Do you want prestige and exposure or convenience and affordability? Do you want to learn in a group or private setting? Only you can decide what’s best for you. Just be sure to review the situation, figure out a course of action and get to it.

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Related posts:

  1. 5 tips for selecting an online university
  2. 2 reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
  3. What jobs best suit your personality? Take an assessment quiz!
  4. Care to test drive an online course?
  5. Five ways to spot a diploma mill
  6. Why you should consider taking online classes
  7. Is online learning right for you?
  8. Importance of online college accreditation
  9. How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility

About the Author: Take a look at more industry related articles by Chris Stout at careersandeducation.com. Chris Stout is a frequent contributor with articles pertaining to using Distance Learning and Career Advice.

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Ways to make your college application stand out http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/college-application-tips/ Fri, 23 Nov 2007 01:22:02 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/about-online-degrees/college-application-tips/ Every year, admissions officers are bombarded with standardized applications from a variety of applicants, some qualified and some not so qualified. To really make your application look attractive, you have to have a well-rounded, organized and confident presentation.

Here are five ways to make your college application stand out.

1. Write an original, thought-provoking essay.

Make sure your essay is amazing. Start early. Spend plenty of time brainstorming. Organize and reorganize your ideas until you have come up with the most logical structure to present your argument. Have a clear thesis statement, and develop your points with supporting evidence. Be original, but be honest. You can highlight your accomplishments without having to over-embellish them. Just answer the topic completely and be confident in your ability to communicate effectively.

2. Include enthusiastic letters of recommendation.

Your letters of recommendation need to be excellent. You have to choose the right people to write them. Approach a teacher you respect, trust and communicate with frequently. Ask this person (or an employer, counselor or other authority figure) to do this favor for you, and if they hesitate at all, find someone else. You need to know that your letters of recommendation will be wholesale endorsements of your scholastic prowess and academic potential. They must be positive and powerful, so find the right people, and give them time to craft their encouraging endorsement.

3. Have a transcript that you can be proud of.

You need to have a transcript that looks spectacular and challenging. Your GPA has to be solid, and you should be sure that you meet the minimum GPA admission requirements. Your transcript has to be packed with challenging classes and college prep courses. If you get straight A’s in less than challenging classes, your GPA will look marvelous, but your schedule will have been average at best. You need to really challenge yourself in high school. Take hard courses and perform excellently, and you’ll have a transcript that you can be proud of.

4. Achieve high standardized test scores.

Just like your GPA, most colleges have minimum admission requirements when it comes to your standardized test score. Make sure you’ve performed well on these exams. Take a test preparation course or hire a tutor to maximize your scores. If you feel like you could’ve done better, then take the tests again.

5. Show that you have accomplishments outside of the classroom

Your application needs to prove that you’re not just a whiz in the classroom. Show off your interests. Tout your involvement in organized sports, music, clubs, community affairs, volunteer work and church activities. Don’t just make a laundry list of responsibilities and associations. Show that you are dedicated to these endeavors. Let the admissions officers see that you are capable of being dependable.

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Related posts:

  1. 5 tips for selecting an online university
  2. Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
  3. 2 reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
  4. What jobs best suit your personality? Take an assessment quiz!
  5. Care to test drive an online course?
  6. Five ways to spot a diploma mill
  7. Why you should consider taking online classes
  8. Is online learning right for you?
  9. Importance of online college accreditation
  10. How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility

About the Author:  Review more industry related articles by Chris Stout at careersandeducation.com. Chris Stout is a CareersandEducation.com feature writer that often covers topics relating to Campus and Online Degree Programs and Career Planning.

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Two reasons you should attend an online college in your own state http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/why-you-should-attend-college-in-your-own-state/ http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/why-you-should-attend-college-in-your-own-state/#comments Fri, 12 Oct 2007 21:49:30 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/67 I think we would all agree that attending college online is more convenient than attending traditional classes. But at what cost? Well, it depends… Do you plan on attending a for-profit college such as Kaplan, or a traditional institution such as the University of Illinois?

If cost of tuition is an important consideration, you may want to take a look at well-established, traditional colleges in your own state. Not only can you take advantage of in-state tuition rates, but you won’t be raising eyebrows when your resume shows you working in California and attending college in Florida.

If you are interested in Online Colleges in Canada, visit my Canadian Online Degrees post.

Online colleges by state

You may also want to perform an online degree search to identify colleges and universities that meet your needs.

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Related posts:

  1. 5 tips for selecting an online university
  2. Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
  3. What jobs best suit your personality? Take an assessment quiz!
  4. Care to test drive an online course?
  5. Five ways to spot a diploma mill
  6. Why you should consider taking online classes
  7. Is online learning right for you?
  8. Importance of online college accreditation
  9. How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility
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What jobs suit your personality? Take a free career test and find out! http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/free-career-assessment-test-learn-which-jobs-are-best-suited-for-your-personality/ Thu, 04 Oct 2007 17:30:26 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/54 Free Career Test

Searching for a degree and still not sure what field best suits you?

Whether you are a student seeking to learn about career options or an adult exploring career change opportunities, you may benefit from a free career assessment that will match you with careers that most accurately complement your interests.

If you are already shopping for an online college, here are my favorite colleges:

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Care to test drive an online course? http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/care-to-test-drive-an-online-course/ Tue, 25 Sep 2007 20:09:53 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/41 The following colleges and universities have online course demos to give you a sneak peek into the world of online learning. See who has a friendlier interface, or just learn how peer collaboration takes place. Find out how to check your grades, view and post assignments, or participate in online class chats.

The following list is obviously not exhaustive, but it will give you an idea of how online classes function. The only one I’ve personally used is Columbia College (since I attend classes there). They have a user-friendly interface and their demo will allow you to use most of the features.

  1. University of Massachusetts – Amherst (User ID and password are at the bottom of the page)
  2. Columbia College
  3. Park University
  4. Northpark University
  5. Jacksonville State University

After checking out these demos, you can find out more about specific online universities by visiting my Online College Review posts.

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Related posts:

  1. 5 tips for selecting an online university
  2. Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
  3. 2 reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
  4. What jobs best suit your personality? Take an assessment quiz!
  5. Five ways to spot a diploma mill
  6. Why you should consider taking online classes
  7. Is online learning right for you?
  8. Importance of online college accreditation
  9. How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility
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Life experience and online learning http://www.online-college-blog.com/portfolio-for-life-experience-credit/life-experience-and-online-learning/ Sat, 15 Sep 2007 22:22:59 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/26 Many online programs now offer college credit for life experience. What does this mean? Basically, you can use skills you’ve learned in your life through work, the military, or other experiences and turn them into life experience credits. These credits will reduce the amount of time needed to complete your online courses.

Different universities offer different life experience college credit, so it’s worth searching several programs to determine which one will benefit you the most. It’s also important to ensure that it’s a fully accredited program that can give you a proper degree or certificate and not a scam.

Demonstrating Knowledge for Life Experience Credit

You will have to prove that you have sufficient knowledge to get this life credit, but there are a variety of means to do this. Sometimes it will mean taking an exam, or providing a reference letter from a previous employer, military supervisor, or community service organization.

Any previously obtained certificates might count, as may books or articles you’ve published. It’s worth checking with your individual program to discuss what in your past qualifies you for credit for life experience.

All of this removes one major problem adults find when seeking to continue their education – the amount of time involved.

Now that reputable universities and institutions have begun offering life experience credit it can significantly reduce the amount of time you must spend on your studies. And it may allow you to bypass beginner-level courses teaching skills you’ve already learned in life.

Not all education occurs in a university setting. Giving college credit for life experience recognizes this fact and greatly aids adult learners in continuing their formal education.

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For more information about specific colleges offering online degrees, visit my Online College Review posts.

Related posts:

  1. 10 Online Colleges offering Credit for Life Experience
  2. Illustrative example of how online learning credits may be awarded
  3. CLEP exams save time and money
  4. Life experience degrees
     

Special thanks to Nancy Lambert, an executive for accredited-online-colleges.com, for writing this article. Accredited-online-colleges.com provides information on hundreds of degrees offered online through accredited colleges and universities. From online certificates to Associates, Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees, Accredited-Online-Colleges.com helps students and adults discover the advantages of earning their degree online. Article source: ezinearticles.com/?expert=Nancy_Lambert.

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Five ways to spot a diploma mill http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/five-ways-to-spot-a-diploma-mill/ Fri, 14 Sep 2007 03:10:46 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/25 Adult students have a rich array of schools to choose from when selecting online or distance learning programs. Unfortunately, reputable degree programs stand alongside unaccredited diploma mills — fake schools that exist solely to make money and fleece busy adult students. On the Internet, it’s hard to tell a legitimate institution from a fake one.

Here are just a few warning signs that a school is not worth your time or money.

  1. Its site lists no names and little or no contact information. At the bare minimum, a legitimate school will list a phone number and physical address on its website. Be wary of “schools” that list only an apartment or a P.O. box. In the same vein, a legitimate school will list the names and contact information of faculty members, deans, and other officials, while a diploma mill will not (usually because they have no teaching faculty whatsoever).
  2. A school claims to be small, yet offers a large number of majors. This is a good indication that a school has no teaching faculty, requires little to no work from its students, and is simply trying to net as many victims as possible.
  3. The school is vague or ambiguous when speaking about its accreditation, or attempts to downplay the importance of being accredited. The bottom line is that a school needs to be properly accredited if you want your degree to be recognized by employers. Therefore, if a school downplays the importance of being accredited, they are more interested in your money than in supplying quality education. Similarly, don’t take a school at face value if they claim to be “fully,” “nationally,” or “globally” accredited – anyone can claim to be accredited, and anyone can claim to be an accrediting agency. To snare unsuspecting students, some diploma mills even set up fake websites for an accrediting agency. To be absolutely sure a school is properly accredited, check it against a list of known diploma mills (http://www.osac.state.or.us/oda/unaccredited.aspx), and research the school’s accreditation using the database of the U.S. Department of Education (http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/).
  4. The school makes outrageous promises. Only a diploma mill will brag that they don’t require studying, essay-writing, or test-taking. Similarly, steer clear if a school claims to award degrees on the sole basis of portfolio assessments of life experience. Though some legitimate schools allow students to earn some credit through portfolio assessments or passing tests based on life experience, they are picky about what they accept and allow students to earn only a limited number of credits amassed using the portfolio system. Lastly, avoid schools that claim to award degrees in mere weeks or months.
  5. The school offers degrees for a flat fee, rather than by course or credit hour. This is a good sign that the “school” requires little to no work and is not interested in teaching students anything.

When researching online or distance learning programs, don’t fall for the slick, official-looking websites that diploma mills use to lure students. A little independent research and skepticism can steer you away from diploma mills and toward a reputable program that can help you achieve your goals. 

Related posts:

  1. 5 tips for selecting an online university
  2. Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
  3. 2 reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
  4. What jobs best suit your personality? Take an assessment quiz!
  5. Care to test drive an online course?
  6. Why you should consider taking online classes
  7. Is online learning right for you?
  8. Importance of online college accreditation
  9. How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility
     

Author: Marianne Madden; visit degreescout.com for more information about diploma mills.

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How to save on college textbooks http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/how-to-save-on-college-textbooks/ http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/how-to-save-on-college-textbooks/#comments Thu, 13 Sep 2007 20:14:29 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/23 According to a Student Financial Assistance Advisory Committee report, the average college student spends around $700-$1,000 a year on college textbooks. While this may be the norm for university-level textbooks, we (the students) are the ones who have to figure out how to pay for them!

College textbook services like eCampus provide free shipping if you spend around $50 on their site. They also let you resell your used textbooks. Very seldom do I ever buy directly from my college bookstore. Even their used book prices are 20% higher than the used prices I find elsewhere on the internet.

Below are a few of my favorite used textbook stores. Remember, shop around!

  1. eCampus
  2. Half.com
  3. Amazon.com
  4. iChapters (they even sell books by the chapter)
  5. BooksAmillion
  6. A1books



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Life experience degrees: Do they exist? http://www.online-college-blog.com/portfolio-for-life-experience-credit/college-credit-for-life-experience/ http://www.online-college-blog.com/portfolio-for-life-experience-credit/college-credit-for-life-experience/#comments Wed, 12 Sep 2007 19:07:20 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/17 Many colleges and universities allow you to earn credit for life experience. They do not, however, award an entire degree based solely on life experience… only diploma mills make those kinds of promises. How life experience credit is awarded and assigned varies widely by university.

Life experience and college credit

For illustrative purposes, I will include an excerpt from the credit for prior learning page at Columbia College. Please note, I am not in any way trying to “sell” Columbia College. The name appears in several of my posts because Columbia is the college I am presently attending (and will graduate from in a few more months). I use them as an example because I am familiar with their policies.

Columbia College’s website lists the following “possible” non-traditional sources of credit:

  1. ACE accredited corporate courses
  2. Excelsior (formerly Regents) Exams / ACT PEP
  3. Advanced Placement Exams
  4. CLEP Exams
  5. Certified Professional Secretary Program
  6. Credit for Prior Learning
  7. Defense Language Proficiency Tests
  8. DANTES DSST Exams
  9. International Baccalaureate
  10. Basic Law Enforcement and Corrections Training
  11. Military Service & Training (click here for detailed military credit information)
  12. MU Fire & Rescue Training Institute (FRTI) for the Associate in Science in Fire Service Administration
  13. Pilot’s License
  14. Real Estate License
  15. RN and LPN certification (for non-nursing degree students)
  16. Other


In addition to these alternative credits, Columbia College also allows students to create a portfolio outlining their life experience to award credit; I have included an excerpt below. The requirements are extremely stringent, however, and in my case, it was easier to just take the classes. Again, this is simply one example of how an online college awards credit for life experience. Other colleges may or may not offer credit for prior learning. While I was attending Central Texas College, they had a similiar program, but certain aspects varied (such as minimum scores required on CLEP exams, etc.).

Columbia College’s credit for prior learning portfolio

Many students who participate in learning experiences outside the classroom wish to earn college credit for their work. Columbia College offers a number of ways students may earn such credit. CLEP tests, ACE credit and course test-outs are the preferred means because they require a theory-base for awarding credit, have national norms/criteria or both. If none of the above credit-awarding methods are an option, Columbia College awards credit for prior learning.

Before applying for credit for prior learning (CPL) credits, students must have completed 12 hours of Columbia College credit. Students also must have completed ENGL 111 and ENGL 112 or their equivalent with a grade of C or better. These credits, if taken at Columbia College, may be included in the 12-hour requirement. 

Columbia College courses that offer CPL credit are generally applicable to degree requirements. A maximum of 15 credits of prior learning can be awarded. CPL is not awarded where college credit in a similar course has been earned. CPL credit does not count toward Columbia College residency (Columbia College website, 2007).

If you feel that you have experience for which you should receive credit, then make that one of your criteria in selecting an online college. Some award credit, others do not. I have already mentioned two that I know for certain award credit for prior learning in this post, and I will try to add more in the future. If your college or university awards credit for work experience, feel free to leave a comment and share this information with others who are interested. Thanks!

Related posts:

  1. Life experience and online learning
  2. Illustrative example of how online learning credits may be awarded
  3. CLEP exams save time and money
  4. Life experience degrees


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Source: Columbia College website (2007)

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Why you should consider taking online classes http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/online-education-benefits/ Wed, 12 Sep 2007 18:23:58 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/16 Whether you are looking for an undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or to take a few online courses to supplement your existing knowledge, online learning gives you the flexibility you need.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of attending classes online:

  1. You are able to study when it is convenient for you (no need to change your work schedule)
  2. You may be able to accelerate your timeline for finishing a degree, especially if you attend an institution offering eight week terms.
  3. Many colleges offer discounted tuition for online students (especially those attending public out-of-state colleges)
  4. There are hundreds of online degree programs available; you should have no problem finding a program that meets your needs.
  5. You will be interacting with people from all over the United States (and the world!) 

Juggling work, school, and family commitments is hard enough. Why add to that a commute in rush hour traffic? If you are comfortable learning and studying on your own with little interaction from others, online learning may be the perfect solution for you.

What’s next?

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Related posts:

  1. 5 tips for selecting an online university
  2. Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
  3. 2 reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
  4. What jobs best suit your personality? Take an assessment quiz!
  5. Care to test drive an online course?
  6. Five ways to spot a diploma mill
  7. Is online learning right for you?
  8. Importance of online college accreditation
  9. How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility
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Is online learning right for you? http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/is-online-learning-right-for-you/ Wed, 12 Sep 2007 18:19:40 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/15 After attending online classes for the past several years, I have learned that the online environment is not for everyone. Unfortunately, some people either have unrealistic expectations, or they think taking online classes is the “easy” route. Although you might not have to sit in class all day, you still have to read your textbooks, write papers, have virtual discussions with classmates/professors, and even participate in the occasional group project (ugh!).

In many ways, online college courses are more difficult than their traditional counterparts. Are you comfortable using computers? Are you a self-starter? Is interacting with other students (in the traditional sense) important to you? Can you complete tasks with little input from your instructors?

There are four basic things you may want to consider as you research online classes:

  1. Computers:  Are you comfortable using email? Do you know how to work with attachments? Can you perform basic searches/research online?
  2. Motivation: Are you a self-starter? Your professor will not be sending you daily emails telling you to complete your assignments and take your tests. A certain level of self-discipline is required.
  3. Interaction: In an online class, you will interact with the professor and your classmates primarily via threaded discussions and email. If you feel that face-to-face contact is a must for you to thrive, then online classes might not be right for you.
  4. Hurdles: There are certain classes that may be more suitable for the traditional classroom (speech, sciences with labs, and classes such as calculus… for those of us who prefer learning math face-to-face!). Although all of these classes are available online, sometimes, you have to stop and ask yourself if you should take a class or two locally for best results.

Test your skills! 

Here’s an Online Learning Assessment Quiz to test yourself and see if online learning is the right choice for you.

If you are ready to find a degree program that meets your needs, perform an online degree search.

Digg!

Related posts:

  1. 5 tips for selecting an online university
  2. Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
  3. 2 reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
  4. Care to test drive an online course?
  5. Five ways to spot a diploma mill
  6. Why you should consider taking online classes
  7. Importance of online college accreditation
  8. How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility
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Online college accreditation http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/about-online-learning/ Wed, 12 Sep 2007 18:05:18 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/14 If you pursue an education online, you have the option of simply taking a few classes, or you can pursue an associates, bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree. Accreditation, however, is extremely important.  There are plenty of colleges out there who come up with fancy sounding names, but they are not accredited by one of the six regional accreditors. Without this accreditation, your college credits are pretty much worthless. Typically, your hours will not transfer, and if you were planning on attending grad school, you are out of luck.

If you are uncertain of your college’s accreditation, ask. Reputable colleges are proud of their accreditation and will be happy to disclose this information. You can also visit this link to see if your college is listed: regional accreditors.

Digg!

Related posts:

  1. 5 tips for selecting an online university
  2. Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
  3. 2 reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
  4. What jobs best suit your personality? Take an assessment quiz!
  5. Care to test drive an online course?
  6. Five ways to spot a diploma mill
  7. Why you should consider taking online classes
  8. Is online learning right for you?
  9. How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility
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How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility http://www.online-college-blog.com/distance-learning-education/online-degrees-and-financial-aid-eligibility/ Wed, 12 Sep 2007 17:30:29 +0000 http://www.online-college-blog.com/index.php/archives/13 In most cases, online learners are eligible for student financial aid. If you are depending on student aid to finance your education, there are a few things you need to know:

  1. Be certain your online college is accredited by one of the major regional accreditors (i.e. North Central Association, New England Association, etc.).
  2. Ensure that your online courses have a definite start and end date. In most cases, this is not an issue. The exception will be courses deemed “correspondence” where a student has the option of taking up to eighteen months or more to complete the course. Most online colleges operate on a semester schedule. If your college does not, you will need to contact your college’s financial aid office to ensure that you will be eligible to receive federal aid.
  3. To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must be enrolled at least half-time. In most cases, this means taking a minimum of six credit hours per semester. Colleges vary in what they deem half-time, so check with your online college’s financial aid office to be certain.
  4. You must be pursuing a degree to be eligible for financial aid. Even if you are unsure of your desired major when you enroll in college, you will need to select a major, even if it is just “general studies”.

Once you are certain your selected college and program of study meet these criteria, you may begin the financial aid process. For information, check out my How to apply for financial aid post.

Digg!

Related posts:

  1. 5 tips for selecting an online university
  2. Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
  3. 2 reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
  4. What jobs best suit your personality? Take an assessment quiz!
  5. Care to test drive an online course?
  6. Five ways to spot a diploma mill
  7. Why you should consider taking online classes
  8. Is online learning right for you?
  9. Importance of online college accreditation
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