Remember, an online degree program is still college-level work. As such, learning online takes patience, independence, and self-motivation. If you are willing to put in the hard work necessary to earn your degree online, you can be sure that you will get the opportunity to take part in a quality educational experience.
Learning Anytime, Anywhere
You may have heard friends talk about online colleges or seen ads for a number of schools and programs. But what do you know about online education? Like traditional universities, online courses bring content, instructors and students together for the purpose of learning. The curriculum of an online program may be similar to a traditional academic or career program, but the delivery is very different. The primary difference between online and traditional colleges is use of the Internet to deliver course materials and manage communication and collaboration.
Is an Online Program Right for You?
If you are considering enrolling in an online program, this is a question you will have to answer based on your educational and career goals. There is a lot of information out there, so understand the benefits and challenges and do your research!
The Advantages of Online College
- Convenience – You can attend class at home, in an airport or out-of-town, as long as you have reliable access to an Internet connection.
- Access – You may live in an area where the program you need or prefer is not offered by the traditional institutions. Online access can open up a world of options.
- Flexibility – Online courses offer flexibility not often found in traditional programs. Having access to course materials online, 24/7, means that you can schedule the majority of your study and course review time around your other commitments, such as work and family.
The Challenges of Online College
- Skills required – Becoming a successful online student takes practice and specific skills and characteristics. Are you self-disciplined? Are you skilled with technology? How are your time management skills? Computer skills are a must as well as the ability to work independently and stay focused.
- Scheduling – While online courses do offer a lot of scheduling flexibility many also have strict deadlines for assignments. Online courses may also require that students attend online events held at specific dates and times during the term. You may even have to go to a testing center to take proctored exams. Blended courses and clinical experience or internship requirements mean you will have a face-to-face component in addition to online materials and interactions.
- Expectations – What kind of a college experience are you looking for? Being a student at an online program is a different experience than that of a traditional, on-campus student. The online experience is focused on the courses while a traditional program is focused on courses but also offers extracurricular activities.