Accredited Distance Learning Colleges and Acredited Online Colleges
For some busy professionals, online colleges can make the difference between going back to school and advancing their career and never being able to make any progress in their professional life. Distance learning opportunities provide flexibility in scheduling, completing assignments and even when choosing schools, as students are able to study from any place they wish, without having to worry about commutes. Some programs may require students to complete an orientation session at the school or on-site internship at an organization near the student’s home, but besides these exceptions, most programs can be completed fully online. Students who are already in the middle of a career but who want to make a job switch or add to their credentials with a graduate certificate can easily compare programs from many different schools, even if those schools are not located anywhere near their home. Top rated distance learning colleges and universities have appropriate student-to-faculty ratios, encourage faculty interaction with students and class discussions, provide career and library resources, and a variety of academic programs offered online that award students with the same degrees as students who study on campus earn. Students can choose to enroll in a fully online university or attend an online division of an established, campus-based college.
While many online colleges and programs are very reputable, unaccredited institutions that hold little to no academic merit are also seeking students. Some illegal organizations, called diploma mills or degree mills, scam students by printing out fake degrees and offering insubstantial programs that do not reflect the academic or organizational standards upheld at accredited colleges and universities. When searching for a distance learning program to help you advance your career, only consider accredited schools and programs. If your program is an online division associated with a campus-based university, confirm that the school has been accredited to grant degrees in your field by a regional accrediting agency and/or a professional-focused, programmatic-specific accrediting agency. The U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs lets you search schools to verify accreditation information here. If you are enrolling in a fully online university, you can look up accrediting information about the school here, on the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) website.
A degree or certificate from an top rated, accredited distance learning college or university will reward you with the same degree you would earn if you chose to study on campus.