Online education is quickly becoming the preferred avenue for millions of adult students to obtain professional degrees and certifications. Yet, some studies suggest that as many as 28 percent of adult learners drop out of their classes within the first semester. This can be for a variety of personal reasons, but for many it’s because they failed to take the time to select the right online education program to meet their individual needs.
Choosing the right online education program of study is critical to being successful with this convenient form of learning. To assist you with making the best choice for your educational and career goals, here are some helpful tips.
Tip 1: Be clear about your learning goals.
Whether you are planning to take online education classes to earn a certificate, a college degree, or just for professional knowledge, this goal should be established early on. This will help you to determine what program of study you want to take and in what format. It will also help you to decide the cost and time factors for your studies.
Tip 2: Select an online program for your style of learning.
Every person has a unique way of seeing the world, but most humans fall under one of three styles of learning and retaining information. These are auditory learning, visual learning and tactile learning. Think back to previous educational experience you’ve had, and consider how your learning style will be met through online classes, and how you will adapt.
Tip 3: Go with an accredited online education program.
A quality online educational program must meet specific regional guidelines in order to qualify for educational status. Therefore you will want to select an online program that is associated with or managed by an accredited college or university, in order to avoid diploma mills and other educational scams online.
Tip 4: Research schools and online programs before applying.
Many of the best distance learning programs have been reviewed by former students and rated by international publications. Be sure to read through these reviews and ratings when choosing an online learning program. A good place to start is the US News Colleges website, which posts updated rankings.
Tip 5: Evaluate the time to completion of online programs.
If you need a degree fast, for your career, you may need to consider an accelerated online education vs. standard online degree programs. You can take your classes at a rate of 6-weeks each instead of the traditional 12-week classes, which can help you obtain your degree in less time.
Tip 6: Choose online education that offers financial aid and scholarships.
Going back to school is one thing, actually paying the cost of tuition and books are another. As you evaluate online education programs, be sure to find out if you are eligible for financial support in the form of scholarship money, grants, and student loans.
Tip 7: Opt for online learning with a human touch.
Being an online learner can be isolating, so opt for a school that provides a good mix of self-driven coursework and human collaboration. It can make a big difference if you have an actual instructor or peers you can reach out to on a difficult assignment or group project.
About the Author: Samuel Clemens is a former educator who spends his time reviewing study resources for students. www.gradesaver.com/application-essays/