Online Certificate & Degree Programs

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Jan 10, 2011 in , , | No Comments

Below is more information regarding ways to protect yourself regarding online certificate and degree programs.

As mentioned in another post, always be sure to check the national and regional accreditation of a program through an established accrediting agency. Online degree and certificate programs must meet the same standards as other colleges. How do you find out information about an online college?

1) Universities should list their accreditation visibly on their websites. Verify what they have listed and where the physical headquarters is located.

2) Contact the accreditation association for that region where the school is listed (see U.S. Department of Education and Council for Higher Education Accreditation links to your right).

3) Find out the reputation a specific school has within your career field of study.

4) Make sure the departments within the school have specialized accreditation by legitimate professional associations. Example: the American Bar Association or the American Dental Association.

Remember that accreditation affects your ability to transfer credits to another college. If a student attends a nationally accredited school and requests transfer to a regionally accredited school, transferring credits might be difficult.

The quality of faculty teaching is another consideration. Ensuring teachers have experience teaching online is essential. Whether an educator is full-time or part-time does not have bearing on whether they are qualified to teach a subject. What does matter is if they have experience teaching the subject and their accessibility. You may research faculty on the college’s website.

Save money by getting your education online. You don’t have the usual expenses: gas for the commute, vehicle upkeep, parking fees, etc.

Not sure if you are a good candidate for online learning? eLearners Advisor is an assessment tool to determine if you will be a good match for an online program. If you are a highly motivated individual, that is one key to being successful in online education. You must also be technologically able to perform in the online forum. A current computer, internet capability, basic proficiency to deal with the learning management system of the course and being able to create PDF’s is essential. Do find out what is expected of you by contacting the school or the instructor of the course before registering.

Taking the time to check out online schools will save you a great deal of money, disappointment and frustration in the long run.