More people are beginning to look into online schools these days. Online school offers an opportunity for those who may never have had the chance to go to college to get an education they want for their own satisfaction or in order to get ahead with their careers. Of course, there are many pros and cons when it comes to schools online, so it is useful to know at least the basic information about online schools when considering whether or not they are the right choice.
What Are the Different Types of Schools?
One of the first things to consider is the different types of online schools. This distinction is very important when trying to make a choice about whether or not to go to an online school. Some of the most well known online schools are extensions of already established universities and colleges. Traditional colleges do not shun online education as they may have a few years ago and have included this option for students who may not be able to go the traditional route.
However, these schools are likely to offer only partial online classes and may require students to take classes on campus as well. However, there are also full-time schools online that do not have a physical campus and operate strictly online. These schools have become more reputable over time as they attract more students and learn the best ways to offer courses online.
What Type of Accreditation Do Online Schools Have?
Accreditation is very important when looking into online schools because some schools and some programs may not be recognized as legitimate when out on the market for jobs or other opportunities. Online programs tied to established colleges and universities will typically have the accreditation of its host school, which is recognized through a nationally recognized US Department of Education accrediting agency, so they can offer certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and sometimes even doctorate degrees.
Online schools that are not extensions of already established schools should also have accreditation, but it may not be the same kind of accreditation as other educational institutions. However, this does not mean that the accreditation is not legitimate. An online school that offers an accounting program may have accreditation from a professional accounting organization like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business or a recognized organization like the Higher Learning Commission that accredits universities like DeVry University or other organizations such as Council for Higher Accreditation that self-regulates academic quality.
Why Should Someone Choose an Online School?
There are many reasons why some people choose online schools. However, one of the most prevalent reasons is flexibility. Online schools are very flexible for students who are returning, continuing or starting later in life and have obligations such as full-time work and families that prevent them from attending a traditional university or college.
Other reasons they may choose these schools are that they cost only a fraction of what traditional schools cost and because of convenience. Not only are individual courses less expensive, but students do not have to worry about expenses such as room and board and other fees that can come with traditional campus universities. Furthermore, books and other necessary materials may also cost less since most of the information is available online. Also, students can usually work on their studies in their own time when they need to work around a schedule.
What Are Some of the Major Online Schools?
In the past few years, there have been a number of online schools that have gotten reputations for offering quality education to students in many areas of study including business, criminal justice, nursing, medical and paralegal studies among others. For instance, Liberty University Online offers more than 50 programs with more than 100 specializations in programs like business, counseling, nursing and more for its students. The University of Phoenix is also well known with more than 100 programs and in many cases offers students the chance to finish in about two years.
Other online schools include American InterContinental University, Bryant and Stratton College Online, Capella University, Jones International University and Walden University. However, the California University of Pennsylvania Online is one of the top ranking schools providing career-oriented training for students.