The Center for Online Education understands online colleges have a dynamic future as new technologies and new uses for existing tools change the way we communicate, connect, and collaborate. In the coming years, virtual reality, blended program delivery, makerspaces, predictive learning platforms, gigabit Internet speeds, and other emerging technologies will push the limits of what was once thought possible at online colleges. Social media and networking sites will continue to impact online teaching and learning, providing a virtual space for authentic interaction, relationship building, and participation in professional communities. Our in-house team, and panel of contributors, are all graduates of accredited colleges and are here to help inform your online college journey.
The University of Alabama is committed to delivering higher education in innovative and flexible formats—Bama by Distance is fulfilling that mission through diverse and accessible programs. As a distance learning student, you will interact with the same college professors and meet the same learning standards as an on-campus student and have access to the same UA resources. Top online degrees include:
The advantages of online courses are more than just a sense of freedom. Online courses eliminate the need to commute to a campus, which saves money as well. There are several costs associated with this type of long-term campus commute, and as 29% of respondents report a household income of less than $50,000 a year, affordability matters. In addition, 46% of online students cite choosing the convenience of an online course due to a lack of a local campus or an inability to regularly commute to one.
To ensure the best possible outcomes for your education program, the online degree program you choose should be accredited by either one of the six primary regional accrediting boards, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, or an accrediting board that specializes in education programs. Examples of these programmatic accrediting agencies include the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA), Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS), and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
Since 2006, the University of Alabama—a public research university—has been offering high-quality online programs through Bama by Distance, their distinctive online portal. Bama by Distance currently offers around 60 accredited online degrees and certificates—primarily in the areas of education, engineering, healthcare, and business—at the undergraduate through the doctoral levels.
About 81% of online students are also employed, so the convenience of distance education works in their favor, allowing them to complete classes around their employment schedule. While almost 63% of students say that the courses they took were to further their career, only 17% claim that taking courses was due to a desire to change careers. These responses may suggest that many online students are looking to expand their current professional skills, including the skills needed for a job promotion, rather than shift career paths entirely.
An academic major typically requires completion of a combination of prescribed and elective courses in the chosen discipline. In addition, most colleges and universities require that all students take a general core curriculum in the liberal arts. The latitude a student has in choosing courses varies from program to program. An academic major is administered by select faculty in an academic department. A major administered by more than one academic department is called an interdisciplinary major. In some settings, students may be permitted to design their own major, subject to faculty approval.
Liberty University is one of many online colleges that offers flat-rate tuition for all online undergraduates regardless of their state residency status, and some RN-to-BSN students qualify for lower tuition rates. Additionally, police officers, EMS personnel, and other first responders receive a 25% tuition discount. Liberty University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The University of Southern Mississippi offers an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. This program is designed for current teacher assistants so they can earn a B.S.and become a certified teacher. Freshman admission is determined by a combination of GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graduates are eligible to become certified teachers in K-6. Several endorsements are also available, which will strengthen the degree and career options. They are Math K-8, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language and English. Classes include Science for Elementary Teachers, Tests and Measurements, and Mathematics for Primary and Middle Grades. Online tuition is $355 per credit.
A college degree is the best way to increase your earning potential - but different careers require different degrees. Think specifically about the types of job titles you hope to be eligible for after you graduate and the types of employers you want to work for. Research the kinds of skills and degrees people at those jobs have, and use that research to narrow down the degree programs you are considering.
I would 100% recommended WGU based on my experience! I completed the M.Ed. in Learning and Technology at my own pace for only $3,000 per 6 months. I had been in a government training position for about 2.5 years before starting this program. Between then and now (finished the program about 2 years ago), I received two promotions internally and now have competing job offers externally. This degree has opened me up to so many new corporate instructional design positions and made me a top candidate!
The University of Toledo, located in Toledo, Ohio, offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. The program is designed for students interested in graduate study or who want to work in administrative support positions in schools and related programs. This is a non-licensure fast track program. Applicants must have an associate's degree in early childhood education or child development with a 2.7 GPA, and must also be employed at least half-time in an appropriate educational setting. The program is on the cohort system. Among the courses offered are Education of Talented and Gifted Children, Effective Teacher Practice and Curriculum Adaptations and Policies. Online tuition for a 3-credit course is $1,260. California residents should check with UT about program availability.
If you have credits to transfer to a university program, Pace University may be a good fit. Pace University Online maintains a generous transfer credit policy that aims to give students the maximum amount of transfer credit from previous college experience towards your desired program. And U.S. News & World Report currently ranks Pace University’s online Bachelor’s program as one of the top ten best programs for veterans.
Brittany Pierce wanted to be pushed beyond what she knew from years of teaching. She came to WGU prepared to work hard, using the ability to accelerate through her program to her advantage, and graduated in 11 months. Brittany talks about using lessons from her coursework in the M.A. Science Education program in her own classroom the very next day, and she says completing her program quickly took focus and self-motivation.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the oldest and largest institution in the Minnesota university system. The school offers a total of 18 online bachelor's degree pathways, including six tracks related to general business studies and programs in specialized fields such as tribal administration and governance, manufacturing management, agricultural business, and sport and recreation management. Other online offerings include six undergraduate certificates and a learning technologies minor. Graduate students at UMN-Twin Cities can choose from 14 online master's degrees and nine online doctoral degrees, most of which focus on healthcare fields.
A member of the ten-school Concordia University System, Concordia University-Saint Paul is a private, nationally ranked, Christian (Lutheran) university. Concordia Saint Paul (CSP) offers numerous degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate level to over 1000 enrolled online students. And U.S. News & World Report ranks many of their online program among the best of their kind.
Perhaps you were class president in high school. Or perhaps you were a member of the honor society. You could have graduated in the top percentile of your graduating class; perhaps you were even valedictorian. Maybe your were in the honors program or the International Baccalaureate program. Actually, it doesn't really matter what you did in high school as you make the transition to college. High school success (or lack of it) doesn't automatically apply to college.