With over 600,000 students enrolled in online colleges, online degrees are gaining more and more recognition. And why shouldn’t they? In most instances, those that are earning online degrees are extremely motivated working adults. These working adults are seen as having that extra oomph as they have to efficiently manage their time to keep up with the demands of both work and school and in some cases, a family. When Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electrics, was asked about people who earned online degrees (Business Week, January 14, 2008), he stated, “…they’re hungry to break open new possibilities in their careers…. People working all day and studying online all night have the kind of ‘grr’ most companies could use.” Do you have the “grr?” If so, make sure to ask these questions to make sure the online college is right for you.
Is the online college accredited and if so, by which accrediting agency?
Diploma mills, as defined by Wikipedia, are organizations that award degrees with little to no study and are not recognized by accrediting agencies. Employers or colleagues do not respect degrees from diploma mills so make sure the online colleges you look into are accredited. The ed.gov site is a great resource for a list of accrediting agencies.
If you have college units, can you transfer your units over?
Most accredited online colleges will allow you to transfer any credit you have earned at another college towards an online degree depending on the degree requirements. To make sure, if there is a specific online college you are interested, call a counselor to see if the credits you have earned can be transferred. This can shorten the amount of time it will take you to complete your online degree.
Are you able to contact a live person should you need help?
From enrollment through completing a class, there should always be a live person you can contact should you need to. Call the telephone numbers that are listed to make sure that you can reach a live person. This would also be an excellent time to ask more specific questions tailored to your situation.
What Technology is Required to Take the Online Classes?
Most online colleges offer classes through a combination of web streaming, e-mail, and chat rooms. Make sure that you have the right programs on your computer to make sure you can accommodate the technology required to take the online classes. Also be sure to make sure the online college has 24/7 tech support. Since online students tend to study at various times throughout the day, online colleges should offer 24/7 tech support.
Is the Online Degree You Want Available?
The great thing about online colleges is that they cross state borders. If an online college doesn’t offer the exact degree you want to pursue, then check another online school. Chances are, there will be another online college that offers the specific online degree you want.
Online Colleges offer Convenience and Flexibility
Once you have answered the questions above, you can start realizing the benefits that online colleges offer. With the convenience of online colleges, you can take classes day or night or anytime in between. You choose what fits your schedule best. And with the flexibility of online degrees, if you miss a day of studying, you can make it up the next day. Just be sure not too miss too many days or you’ll end up with weeks to make up. Start your search for online colleges now!