Online College & Distance Learning … What’s it All About?

“I don’t like the idea of racing out of work to try to beat traffic to try to be on time to a class that only lasts an hour,” says Alex, an information technology professional who is currently attending an online college to earn his associate’s degree.

Taking a class means having to sit in a classroom from one to three hours (not including travel time to and from campus). College courses can be a burden for some students, simply because it prevents them from accomplishing other things in their lives.

Education is an important goal shared by many people, but scheduled class times may be too inconvenient for some. Parents, members of the military, and working adults typically have difficulty committing to an inflexible class schedule.

Today’s affordable and accessible technology allows those non-traditional students the ability to take college classes in a more convenient, flexible format. Distance learning has provided millions of students with a way to get an education while raising a family, being deployed, and working.

61.3 percent of all colleges and universities in the United States provide distance learning to their students. What is distance learning? It is a phrase meaning that students can take a college course without having to physically be in a classroom. Their attendance is monitored over discussion boards, threaded discussions, and e-mails; it’s all done over the Internet.

The concept of taking a class over the Internet is hard to understand for some. Is it possible to have as good an online education experience compared to the more traditional on-campus experience? For most adult students who have taken courses online, the experience has been more than good. “The … advantage of being in a distance learning forum is having access to fellow students, teachers and distance learning experts in general. Whenever you have a question, all you have to do is ask,” says Abner, a devoted husband and student (currently working on his MBA degree online).

Over 3.5 million students were enrolled in at least one online course during the fall of 2006, as reported by the Sloan Consortium. As the popularity of distance learning programs continues to build, prospective students can expect to gain more familiarity about them. Many universities have made their classes available for free over the Internet in the form of videos (as is the case with Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), while others are delivering their courses online and charging regular tuition for their online degrees (as is the case with Harvard Extension School of Harvard University, Boston University, etc.).

Attaining the appropriate education can be time intensive, but many are turning to online education to begin a new or enhance their current career. If you are unfamiliar with distance learning, but would like to learn more about it, please go to and click on the “Articles and Resources” tab. is one resource offering a comprehensive list of accredited, online graduate degree programs. The site’s searchable database allows people to compare different programs to find the perfect fit for their individual needs. Visit today for more information.

Top Online College Degree Programs

Walden University - Bachelor's, Master's, & Doctorate Degrees. Walden University is dedicated in ensuring students receive the education they need to advance in their careers. Their programs are convenient and effective, providing working students with the flexibility they need.
Capella University - Capella University is an accredited college that offers online Bachelor's, master's, Doctoral, and Certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you're learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.
Liberty University - Associate's, Bachelor's & Master's Degrees. Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University now enrolls more than 90,000 students from around the world in its thriving online program. With more than 230 fully accredited programs of study, Liberty University Online offers degrees from the certificate to the postgraduate level.
Post University - Associate's, Bachelor's & Master's Degrees. Post University is a premiere destination for students in obtaining their college degree online. Post University offers a dynamic curriculum to every student and are taught by the very best professors in their field of study.
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