Learning About Online College Offerings
Top online colleges and universities are accredited by national, regional and local accrediting agencies that are recognized by the United States Department of Education. Two and four-year undergraduate degree programs in numerous disciplines (e.g. education, military science, healthcare management, business administration) are taught at the postsecondary schools. Online college courses in subjects requiring licenses (e.g. dentistry, law) or advanced skills are also available at the graduate and professional levels.
Information on online college programs, degrees and courses can be found at individual school websites. Detailed online college information, including course curriculums for specific degree programs, is generally located in syllabi. The dates and times that courses are available, add and drop deadlines, dates and times when course college professors are available to meet with students to discuss their academic progress, personal concerns, etc. and prerequisites required to register for certain courses are types of information included in syllabi. You’re encouraged to familiarize with course syllabi before you start taking your first online classes.
Annually rankings of offline and online schools, including online colleges in Ohio and other states, are created and distributed by publications and organizations like US News and World Report, the Princeton Review, College Board and Newsweek. The numbers of students enrolled at the postsecondary schools, types of undergraduate and graduate degrees offered, licenses and working experience professors at the schools have, institutional budgets and financial health, percentages of college students who graduate on time with degrees and extracurricular activities and programs offered at the schools are types of data measured and covered in the rankings.
Researching and Reviewing Online Colleges
If you review information on the most expensive and cheapest online colleges using school rankings and by jotting down notes when you visit online schools, you might save yourself hours of gathering research material on each school you’re thinking about taking an online course with. By visiting online college discussion forums and blogs you can also start to measure how pleased current college students are with the schools. Depending on your lifestyle or family situation (e.g. single adult, married without children) you might consider doing a keyword search on “adult continuing education” while you’re visiting online college websites to learn about programs, tutorials and financial aid available at schools you’re interested in taking courses at.
It’s also important that you take the time to research the accreditations that online colleges and their degree programs have. This information is included in some online college rankings reports. You can also find information regarding online college accreditations, including degree program (e.g. engineering, law) accreditations, at the United States Department of Education. Online colleges that are accredited as an entire organization and that also are accredited in certain disciplines (e.g. nursing, physical fitness, business, music, education) undergo regular administrative, financial, teaching qualification and student graduation reviews. Generally, semester and quarter credit hours earned at these schools are accepted by other online as well as offline colleges and universities around the country.
Furthermore, some online colleges and universities post answers to frequency asked questions (FAQs) at their websites. By reading through this information you may find the answers to pertinent questions you have about the schools, their enrollment process, grading systems and advanced or accelerated degree programs.