How do you pick the right online degree program for you

How Do You Pick the Right Online Degree Program For You?

You want to go back to school. No, you need to go back to school, and you think an online degree program is the best way to fit an education into your busy life. Once you have made that huge, life-altering decision, the big challenge is to find the right online degree program for your future plans. There are a number of important factors that you must consider when choosing an online degree program.

First, and foremost, you must pay careful attention to the program’s accreditation and standards. Some programs are purely online with no bricks-and-mortar location. many of these online programs are reputable and properly accredited, but not all, so be a careful consumer and check this out thoroughly. Also, make sure the program is credible in the field you want to enter. It would be a terrible thing to spend a lot of time and money investing in a degree that will not let you fulfill your dreams. Of course online version of traditional programs can also be problematic. While there isn’t the problem of accreditation and status, not all traditional programs “do” online well. Creating an online class or program requires a different pedagogy and planning than the more traditional counterpart. Make sure your program gets the difference between online and traditional instruction.

It is also important to find out before you choose a program how supportive the online degree program is that you are considering. On campus there are a number of readily available sources to support your education, but what if you are not on a campus? Is there somewhere to turn for technical assistance? How can you contact your instructors and are they readily available to offer help and guidance? Is there library support? Is there a way to develop relationships with faculty and students? While what you learn in class is important, it is also important to remember that the sum of those classes is not the total of your education. Can this program offer the ability to develop a support network for after graduation?

Last, but not least, how expensive will your online degree program be? Some institutions charge more for online programs. Some institutions do not offer financial aid for online programs. Find out the facts ahead of time and plan how you will support your educational plans.

The best source of information about a program are students of the online degree program you are considering, especially graduates of that program. Students can tell you about the level of support the program offers students and how well designed the classes are for distance learning. Graduates can tell you about how well received the online degree is in the field. Do not forget to ask those students if they would choose this program again knowing what they know now. Ask the program for referrals but also seek out your own. Harness the power of the internet and do searches for the degree to find those graduates. Many people post their resumes and vitas to the web so you should be able to find some students. If you cannot then that might also be telling.

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