Whether a person considers themselves an “e-learner”, a student in a “distance learning” program or simply a student in college, the online learning environment is more popular than ever. This is because it offers convenience to people who work full time and have families, it presents a chance for students to learn at their own pace, and it makes education available to people who are unable to travel to regular college classes.
So where do begin an online college search? Online of course! A standard search engine can yield thousands of results and opportunities for a student to investigate. Before jumping right in however it is best to think about the desired results from the online education.
If a student is looking for entrance into a professional field such as health sciences and medicine, law, education, business or engineering they should consider only four year schools. These offer the largest number of majors and classes and are more likely to allow students access to people all ready working in the field they are studying. Additionally, many students will find in an online college search that some of the four year colleges and universities make a Master’s degree program available as well. This can allow a student to continually move forward in their educational goals without transferring or applying to a new school.
If a student has no experience with the college environment, has been out of school for a long while, and isn’t exactly sure what they would like to do with their degree work, they should probably investigate a two year school to seek an Associate’s degree. Here they will find a good basis for furthering their education through transfer programs, technical coursework and programs and certificate programs that can offer them the opportunity to enter into a professional trade immediately.
When a student begins their online college search however they must be very careful to avoid what are commonly referred to as “diploma mills”. These are schools that promise degrees in a few weeks or make diplomas available for limited amounts of study. Generally these schools are not accredited which means the money and time spent with them is a total waste. Credits and transcripts from such colleges and universities do not transfer to other institutions and are not considered valid for most professional purposes. So it is best for a student to steer away from such opportunities.
An online college search is an exciting time for many prospective students as they realize they can have access to the same kind of educational materials and opportunities as the millions of other college students throughout the country, and even the world. Some online students find the unique environment much easier to work in and achieve grade point averages they never thought possible.