Are you strongly considering going back to school but are afraid to commit to a school you’ve never heard of? Good attitude! In fact, if more people would scrutinize their options earlier on, we would not have the problems with underachieving schools that we have. Not to worry, we have assembled five tips on choosing the best online colleges for your career.
1. Make sure the school is accredited.
Accreditation refers to the school’s standardized curriculum, one that meets with the high standards as set out by trustworthy organizations, such as the National Educational Association or NEA. The first thing you will notice about “degree mills”, which are schools that merely hand out degrees or diplomas to whomever pays them, is that these institutions establish their accreditation through private companies—never by any reputable organization.
2. Read over the curriculum.
Never agree to a contract or payment if you have not seen an overview of the course. Some online colleges fail to even post their curriculum online, and this is a warning sign to students who will naturally want to examine the course to see if their educational requirements are being met. Not only should the course state the objectives and goals involved in learning, but it should also cover time requirements, difficulty levels and other related issues.
3. Make sure the school has credit transfer options open to you.
You may find it advantageous to transfer your credits from a previous school to a new online school or set of colleges. If your credits are legitimate they can be transferred and honored wherever you go. However, unaccredited or unscrupulous schools may not do this for you. Also bear in mind that every school has a unique credit transfer process and may have requirements pertaining to a maximum percentage of credits that can be accepted.
4. Meet the staff.
Investigate the teaching staff and administrators and make sure they have a name representing the company. Naturally, you want to work with people who care about students and want to ensure your professional success. Make sure these individuals are accessible and return your calls or emails.
5. Determine how large the school is compared to how well connected it is.
Ideally, you want smaller class sizes which allow for greater one on one attention and personal communication. Crowded online courses may be just as problematic as a traditional college if the team is too busy to personalize the assignment.
The best online colleges have plenty to offer to sincere students who want to make a difference!