Online education, or distance education, will clearly be an integral part of the future of education. In a 2006/2007 study, the U.S. Department of Education reported 12.2 million enrollments in online education courses. Through the same study, the Department of Education also reported that 66 percent of two and four year universities offered distance education, also referred to as distance learning. What’s more, 97% of public, 2-year institutions provide online courses. This information clearly implicates the use of distance learning in the future of education.
Distance education is defined as “planned learning that normally occurs in a different place from teaching and as a result it requires special techniques of course design, special instructional techniques, special methods of communication by electronic and other technology, as well as special techniques of course design, and other technology, as well as special organizational and administrative arrangements.” (p. 2, Moore, M G., & Kearsley, G.).
There is no question that as technology improves and becomes more readily available, so too will distance education. In addition, the current economic downturn has left many consumers jobless and looking for higher education. Several states have introduced No Worker Left Behind programs, encouraging the post-collegiate bunch to hit the books once again. With this, students from both past and present are looking for the most accessible education possible.
Online Campus vs Traditional Campus
If you wish to make a comparison between receiving a degree from an online college or a traditional campus you might want to check on the acceptance of the school’s diploma. Not all schools are considered acceptable as far as academic standards and accredibility. Some research is required to determine if the online campus has an acceptable college ranking. This can also depend on how far you want to take your career. The degree needed to work in business at the level you seek. Do you need an Associate’s degree or a Masters degree to complete your studies?
The school you are considering must be able to issue a degree that is accepted by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Degrees issued by a university that is not accredited will not satisfy the educational requirements indicated on the job specifications.
You should also review feedback from real students from on-line universities if you are planning to attend on on-line college or university. You can do this by visiting the website of the school you are interested in.
A bonus to attending an on-line university or college is that you can work in your career while attending on-line classes. Also classes can be tailored to fit your schedule and time availability.