Ready for Online Distance Education? Read These 10 Rules First

by Mary Jackson - Date: 2008-09-06 - Word Count: 536 Share This!

Check to ensure the college is accredited by a legitimate accrediting agency.  Accreditation means the college and its programs meet certain set educational quality and standards. This also means courses and credits acquired can be easily transferred to another accredited institution, whether online or brick and mortar college. You will stand a better chance of securing employment or promotion at work if you have an accredited degree.

Be on the look-out for unaccredited online distance education colleges otherwise known as "degree mills". There are many fake institutions granting "accreditation" to any organization willing to pay some money for it. Before you pick your college, make sure you research that it is accredited by a legit body.  If you are not sure the college you wish to attend has a legitimate accreditation, consult with the United States Department of Education or CHEA to confirm.

Before you choose an online college, it's also important to think about what your long-terms plans and goals are as far as your education is concerned. Incase you intend to pursue further education, think about if you'll need to transfer credits from one college to another. With this knowledge you'll be able to choose a college that allows and accepts credit transfers.

Class size plays a big role in an online distance education college as it does in a traditional classroom. The smaller the better, thus you should investigate the class size of the institution you wish to join.

It good to know more about the instructors of the programs you are interested in. Are they qualified to teach that class? Do they have experience in their field or specialization?  Have they taught online classes before?  How long have they been teaching? Get the answers to these questions. It is more reassuring if more instructors hold degrees from the college that you're planning to enroll.

Support is very important to your success of online distance education program. Make sure you find if any and what level of support you will get from instructors, faculty and technical staff should you have problems with your classes or experience technical difficulties. Select a college that meets your standards of expectations.

One of the great things about online distance education programs is that you can begin almost anytime. Thus you shouldn't let anyone rush you into starting your program until you feel ready to put the time and effort it will require for you to succeed.

Check out if your program will be offered entirely online or if it will require residency at some point in the course. Some online courses have site projects and require residency so let this not come as a surprise to you.

Most online colleges offer financial aid and tuition assistance. You'll be pleased to discover how much financial help you have available inform of loans, scholarships, financial aid and other federal loans. Some institutions even have tuition payment plans and employer-reimbursement programs. Find out if your college of interest offers such programs.

Take your time to research your best degree option and college out there. Don't settle for less than you deserve. Unlike there before when online programs were limited, now there are enormous options and colleges to choose from as most traditional colleges are already offering some programs online.

Related Tags: elearning, education, associate, distance learning, bachelor, distance education, mba, phd, online degrees

Mary Jackson writes about accredited online degrees and offers tips and online distance education resources to help you succeed with your distance learning.

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