For those pursuing a full time education, accredited online colleges can be the answer to traditional higher education. As online learning increasingly becomes the norm, traditional college courses are being replaced by distance learning classes. This allows for more flexibility and convenience, but also makes it more difficult to distinguish between accredited and non-accredited online colleges. This can lead to costly mistakes and wasted time.
Accredited online colleges give students the ability to balance their studies along with other personal and professional responsibilities. Many distance education programs use an asynchronous or blended learning format, which doesn’t require set class meetings. In addition, most online colleges offer tuition reductions to full online students, as well as partial online tuition reductions for students who complete a certain number of credit hours through accredited online colleges. This type of program offers the opportunity for all students to earn college credit, even while they are working full or part-time jobs, attending school full-time, or attending college in other locations. While traditional higher education has long had the reputation for prestige and distinction, the internet can help to open doors that would have otherwise remained closed.
The accreditation process for accredited online colleges is not the same as the accreditation process for traditional universities. When a school’s course offerings meet the requirements of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and the Commission on Distance Education and Training (DETT), it is listed as an accredited program. Programs must demonstrate excellence, scholarship, and quality of education as compared to those offered by similar schools in the region. Schools that achieve this level of quality are accredited by the United States Department of Education. Any accredited online colleges offering degree programs are required by the United States Department of Education to participate in the department’s Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Determining whether a distance education program is one of the best online colleges available requires examining both accreditation and its acceptance by the US Department of Education.
Accredited online colleges and their distance degree programs have achieved regional accreditation through one or more of the six regional accreditation boards. This regional accreditation board has identified an institution’s qualifications based on its policy and procedures that are aligned with the Accreditation Board for Student Financial Aid (ABFAS). These policies and procedures also contribute to ensuring that prospective students will be able to transfer credits from accredited online colleges to other regional accreditation boards that may be of greater significance to them (e.g., National Association of Schools and Colleges). Because of this aspect of regional accreditation, students from out of state or from out of country are usually able to earn the same credits as from a school in their home state, even though that student did not earn the equivalent degree in a local, state, or national university.
As the online program progresses, a student begins to experience the benefits of earning a degree through distance learning, but continues to take courses at their local universities because there is still some face-to-face interaction involved. In this case, the convenience of an online accredited college is met with the flexibility of many students. The student can work around a busy schedule as needed, take the course at times that are convenient for them and their family, and complete the degree program at their own pace. It is very easy for many students to keep their options open and work toward earning the degree they need to meet their goals and objectives. Distance learning offers many students flexibility in the area of time management and schedules because they are not tied down by a set of rigid deadlines that come with traditional education.
Many of the best online colleges universities are supported by a range of academic professionals who are actively involved in the various activities and developments on campus. For example, instructors at these institutions are typically enrolled in academic professional disciplines in addition to the core subjects that all students take. There are many advantages for participating in a graduate degree program through one of these professional experts. The advantage of having such involvement is that a student will be able to get personal one-on-one advice from the instructor. This personal mentorship can make the difference between a student taking an online degree program because the instructor can better guide the student towards achieving his or her educational goals.
Distance education has become increasingly popular because it allows students applying to one of these schools to select from a wide variety of programs and institutions that offer a wide range of course offerings. The curriculum offered by accredited colleges and universities are designed to prepare students to enter careers in all types of fields. Therefore, when it comes to career preparation, these accredited colleges and universities have the programs, materials and resources in place to get students prepared for the real world. Whether a student is interested in earning a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Fine Arts, or a Master of Science, the courses offered will help that student to achieve his or her educational goals.
As previously mentioned, there are many advantages to choosing accredited online programs over other formats. Therefore, before choosing a college to attend, a prospective student should take time to research the different online degree options available to choose the best fit. Once a student is able to pick an accredited online school, he or she will be well on their way towards completing his or her higher level of education.