What Online Schools Have a Good Reputation and Rate Well With Students?
In its initial days, online education was mostly the monopoly of little known universities. However, with time and a growing requirement most reputed brick and mortar schools across the U.S. have started offering an online version of their traditional courses. Not only are they providing the same course material, the degree earned by both methods of education is equally valued. In fact educators across the country are experimenting with different instructional strategies to device the perfect fit for online courses.
Why Do We Need Online Colleges?
One of the prime reasons why we need online courses is to fulfill the demand for quality higher education, which has risen tremendously in the recent past. That education is the key to a successful life has been established beyond doubt. Countries are spending billions in upgrading their education system, as high literacy rates are a determinant of the success of a country. With the popularity of online education the scope of higher education has opened up to working adults and people with commitments, who cannot attend regular day classes. The convenience, affordability, and diverse range of subjects have all made online education a necessity.
Is Accreditation Necessary?
This demand for online education has also created institutes which care less about education and more about profit making. The primary requirement of a reputed institution is therefore to get an accreditation by any of the state-based or regional accrediting bodies recognized by the USDE. Before selecting your online college, check the accreditation by contacting the appropriate State Department of Higher Education. Please visit our article What is Accreditation?for further details regarding its importance to both online and on-campus colleges.
Can You Play It Safe?
You can play it safe by choosing an online course offered by a reputed traditional college. Since the college will have its reputation in mind, the quality of the online course will be at par with their regular course. Do some online research to find the reputable institutes. One of the good sites to find the latest ranking of online colleges is Colleges.UsNews.com
Are There Criteria To Evaluate An Online School?
You can always do some evaluation on your own instead of going by the ranking. After you know that the college and the course are accredited, find out the following information about them:
- The presentation of the course - the way lectures are delivered - is as important as the content presented. Find out if the online material is just plain text or is accompanied by video, audio, charts, slides, interesting links, and further study links. Are there evaluations after each section is taught? Is there regular monitoring and review of the assignments submitted? And, finally, is there a proper response to students' questions?
- The method of student interaction: Is there any regular and established process, such as scheduled timings for chat sessions, teleconferencing, or video conferencing?
- The qualification of the online faculty, the technical support available to them, and their knowledge about online teaching methodology.
- The reputation of a school's traditional program is often a good, and sometimes the only measure to judge its online programs.
- The method used for student evaluation. The degrees granted should be well deserved and ably support knowledge transference.
- Online references should be available to students irrespective of their location. The unavailability of reference material should not be a hurdle faced by a student for timely completion of an assignment.
Which Are The Best Rated Online Schools?
Though ranking can be a subjective process, where individual preference for a college and course can influence the rating, there are some online universities that have been consistently rated as good.
- Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Jones International University is rated highly by the students. Its courses in corporate finance, sales and marketing management, accounting, communication management, business communication, and sales, service and marketing are popular.
- The Western Governors University received the USDLA 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning for the year 2008. It is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; Distance Education and Training Council (DETC); and NCATE.
- The Capella University, accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), is reckoned as one of the online institutes for higher education degrees.
Check the following sites for more information on reputed online institutions and accredited colleges: