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Keys To Choosing The Right Online School

By Author: Alvin Hill
Total Articles: 9

According to a recent survey almost five million students took at least one online course in the fall of 2008. This indicates that there has been renewed interest in getting educated online. Most students have been looking to have their post-secondary education online and the good news is that most major colleges and universities have been responding to the signs of the times. Some major universities have made full courses available to students that can be available to students anywhere in the country. For this reason a lot of students are in a quandary how to choose the right kind of online school that will serve their needs and get them to the right track.

Accreditation. The first thing that you should look for an online course is if it is accredited. When you are trying to invest for your future it is best to take a look at the available courses online and see if the government knows about it. The best government agency to ask is the Council For Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) which is recognized by the US Department of Education. If a course is accredited it means the credits that you are going to earn will be recognized in a wide range of industries.

Costs. Costs unfortunately are not the same it varies depending if the program is an undergraduate course or a graduate program. Take time to see if you can have the total amount. Don’t be deceived if a program is way cheaper. Sometimes the reason the program is cheaper has something to do the quality of the delivery. There are programs that are charging per unit while there are programs that are charging per course. These terms can easily confuse anybody especially when calculating for costs.

Transfer credits. Find out how much is the allowable amount for the credits transferred. Normally, you can transfer a bunch of credits towards an undergraduate degree so you can already graduate. This will give you savings in money and time in the long run.

Classroom size. Normally, students on an online course would be interacting with the facilitator through discussion boards or chat sessions that are often pre-scheduled by the facilitator. Like in any American classroom there would be class work or course work that would be assigned and the students need to submit those on a deadline. Also, the size of the students may not be practical for professors to directly interact with their students but some online programs limit the participants so that the students can ask questions to professors without needing teaching assistants.

Class size. This is a very important subject when you are looking for an online school. The class size should be large enough for students to interact with each other and also to be practical for the professor to take questions from the class during the discussions. The typical class size would be around 25 students for undergraduate classes.

Take time to investigate and research the kind of online school for you. At this point in time there are a small number of institutions offering online learning. That is why you cannot afford to be picky. It is part of the learning experience. But if you think that online learning suits you most then go for it.

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