What is an online degree? That question has a lot of answers. There are online degree programs that require a student to login on a regular basis and “post” their work. This could mean an essay answer to a question about the materials studied during the week, it could mean posting responses to the answers of other enrolled students, and it could mean taking an automated and timed test at a school or college web site.
An online degree could also mean purchasing traditional materials for college study, but using them for a correspondence course with exams given by a registered proctor.
There are many ways a student can earn a college degree online, and it is best that they determine the kind of work they would like to do before beginning their online college search.
Many schools itemize the requirements for their students at their web sites. They will give the fields of study and graduate degrees available through the school and most will make a comprehensive listing of the current courses and classes available to students who are enrolled in an online degree program.
If a student has chosen to perform an online college search for schools that don’t require attendance in any class room environments, they may also want to be sure that the college or university they are looking into doesn’t ask for a proctored examination either. Why should they avoid this? Generally, those that choose an “all” online program do so because they do not have the time or opportunity to attend a traditional college class. This will also mean that they probably do not have the time to travel to a school or local library to take a two to three hour exam twice each semester.
When beginning an online college search it is important to be absolutely certain that the school is accredited and that any credits earned through the school can transfer or be accepted by another school, college or university. This is important because many students seek their Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree through their online school, and should they want to further their education at a different school they will not be able to use their credentials if their college is not accredited at the time they attended classes.
An online college search will usually begin with a specific goal in mind, such as a degree in a specific field or major, or a certificate in a particular area. If the student is using a standard search engine they should pay attention to the amount of time the school indicates a degree program will require. If a school is promising a Bachelor’s degree in only a few weeks or a couple of months, it is unlikely that the school is accredited, or it is that they are promising the impossible.
A student beginning their online college search should understand from the beginning that just like a traditional college education requires a number of years to complete, so too will an online program require a certain length of time to be performed properly.