John Coyle is an avid freelance writer focusing on topics of technology, innovation, and digital media. His hobbies and interests include photography, cinema, video games, and traveling. This guest post was provided by him on behalf on Drexel Online.
With the rise in popularity of online education programs, the number of people interested in getting their degree online has exponentially increased. Due to the large range of options that are now available in the area of online learning, it is very important that students make the best choice when it comes to programs and courses. When choosing an online degree, it is important to take certain factors into consideration.
Does The Program Fit Your Style of Learning?
First, it is important to note that although online education has its advantages, it may not be for everyone. Learning styles and class interaction vary from the standard classroom set-up. Students interested in online degrees should be comfortable with assessing their learning progress without the typical personal interaction with instructors and other students. However, many universities are able to facilitate class communication via chat rooms and message boards.
Next, it is important to determine the integrity of the online institution. Be certain that the program is regionally accredited. Accreditation determines if the program meets established quality standards when it comes to courses, instructors, finances, and other aspects of the education system. Prospective students should not waste time and money on an online education program that is not accredited. This is especially true if you are looking to transfer the credits to another university. Many universities do not take credits from unaccredited programs.
The Right Major
Do Your “Homework”
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, your next step should be to investigate the student experience. Read reviews of professors and classes. This blog provides a fair number of reviews for the students to assess the courses' potential. Message students currently in the online education program and inquire about some of the pros and cons. Find out if professors offer tutoring or extra credit. Many professors post their outlines and presentations online – try to view a few of them to decide if you prefer their teaching styles. Determine if students are encouraged to be vocal and active participants in the online learning experience. Make sure the university has an adequate and attentive technical support staff. After all, you will be submitting all of your coursework online. The last thing you need as an online student is for a file to be corrupt or an important webpage not loading.
It is important that you compile a checklist of all of the requirements you will need to enroll in the online degree program. Universities require documents and transcripts from prior schools, as well as entrance tests and fees. You should also look into any financial paperwork you may need. Investigate any financial aid and scholarship opportunities. There are many scholarship opportunities available specifically for online degrees.
By making careful and planned out decisions about your education needs and goals, online education and degree programs can definitely be the answer to achieving a degree. Researching online schools and programs takes time and dedication, but it is essential in helping you get the most out of your online education.