Online Higher Education | Evaluating Distance Learning | Earn A College Degree

Online Higher Education

Earn A college Degree Online

Online Higher Education
It is a wonderful world of information that exists today and that information is readily accessible through the internet.

Yes, you can earn a college degree online.

You can buy household goods, pay bills and even get a college degree or earn a certificate. Would you like to earn a Masters Degree in Special Education?

Do you need to take a parenting workshop addressing the special needs of a child with autism? Are you hoping to earn a teacher’s certificate that allows you to work with children who have ASD? And, do you want to find the best online college ?

You can meet these goals and more with distance learning or online higher education.

What is Distance Learning – Most distance learning happens over the World Wide Web, but the truth is it has been going on as long as the written word and courier services have existed.

Without leaving your home unless you need to do a practicum or internship at some point, it’s possible to earn a degree or attend a workshop online.

It’s also possible to take classes that will help you further your career or enable you to change professions. You can actually accomplish a lot in the way of education by attending classes at an online accredited college or university where you will earn online accredited degrees.

Definition of Distance Learning

Distance learning is an instructional system that enables a student to attend a class, lecture, workshop or seminar without being physically present in the classroom or meeting room. Distance separates the instructor and the student and that distance can actually be the space between separate rooms or thousands of miles.

Another element of distance learning is the fact that students use technology in order to access the required information and often to communicate with the teacher to earn accredited online degrees.

• Student attends class online using a computer and internet connection
• Webinars
• Video conferencing
• Webcams
• Videos, CDs or DVDs
• Telephone
• Satellite transmissions

There are some students who even get homework assignments through text messages sent by the teacher! The power of distance learning lies in its ability to take advantage of all forms of communication using technological equipment and software programs.

For many years the online colleges and universities were considered to be inferior in many ways to traditional institutions of higher education. That is just not true as the increasing importance of education and improved technology bring teachers and students together who are physically separated.

When looking for the best online college, ensure they are accredited. No employers are going to be impressed with a degree from a college that has no accreditation.

Why Is Distance Learning So Popular?

Distance learning has grown in popularity for many reasons.

• Enables people to access educational opportunities who would not be able to otherwise, i.e. new mothers, senior citizens, full-time workers, those with limited access to transportation , homebound

• Usually costs less than a traditional university program

• Can attend class any time of day and night in many cases by accessing prerecorded or online material

• Can access program of choice and are not limited to local offerings

• Makes it possible to earn degree in field of choice

• Can upgrade skills to improve job performance or opportunities

• Able to work at your own pace in many cases

• Makes education accessible to people in rural areas and military personnel or those who frequently must travel

• Gain access to instructional experts and professionals in their fields

Through distance learning programs, it’s possible to earn:

Associate Degree
Bachelors Degree
Masters Degree
Doctorate Degree
LPN Degree
• Professional certification
• Online Certification
• Professional development

Distance learning is a popular option for people who already have a degree and want to specialize or qualify for a teacher’s certification.

Disadvantages of Distance Learning

Nothing in life is perfect and there are a few disadvantages to online higher education and online accredited degrees.

• Sometimes there are not as many course offerings compared to a traditional institution of higher learning

• Requires greater advance planning for teachers and students

• Less ongoing interaction between students, and students and instructors

• Do not get immediate or rapid feedback like a student would get in a classroom

• Students don’t have access to many on-campus services and student interactions

In the opinion of many, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

Taking Care of Business… The Cost of Online Higher Education

There are costs associated with attending an online college or university of course. There are tuition, books, class materials, special fees and mailing costs for example. But online education is almost always cheaper than attending a brick-and-mortar school because you don’t have to buy meal passes, pay dorm fees, pay parking fees or cover many other unexpected expenses.

Even tuition can be cheaper since the instructor only has to be available for online office hours or to grade tests or homework.

Many online higher education courses can be recorded and made available online so the student can access it when convenient.

Online higher education makes a college education affordable for millions of students. There is even financial aid available to help you pay expenses. If the online institution of higher learning offers online accredited courses then federal and state financial aid is applicable.

The first step is to contact the financial aid office and determine if you are eligible for assistance. There is a form to complete called the ‘Application for Federal Student Aid’ that is used to determine eligibility and need.

But even if you don’t qualify for a government grant program, there may be other sources once you state your education purpose. The financial aid office can work with you to find various ways to pay for a college education.

• Scholarships
• State and federal financial aid programs
• Private and governmental grants
• Loans
• Employer tuition assistance programs

Finding an online accredited college and evaluating distance learning is fairly easy. There are several great sources you can check with to determine which colleges and universities are accredited and have a good reputation. You want to avoid those websites claiming to offer educational programs but are not accredited (they used to be called ‘matchbook’ degrees).

US Department of Education
Distance Education and Training Council
Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Online higher education offers study opportunities to millions of people who would not be able to attend school otherwise.

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