Online distance education programs have become a popular alternative to traditional campus based schools. This trend is gaining steam and looks like it is here to stay. It's easy to enroll in these programs if you follow these steps.
- Figure out whether or not distance learning is right for you. Classes are accelerated and you need to be focused and motivated to keep up with the pace. Organization, determination, and discipline are essential in order to succeed in an online education environment. If you tend to procrastinate or need more one on one time with a teacher, online learning may not be the best choice for you.
- Decide which school is best for your needs. There are many schools that are strictly online, and there are many campus based schools who offer a distance education program that can be taken by anyone anywhere in the world. Decide which degree or training you need and research each school that offers your program via distance learning. Weigh things like cost, quality of instruction, classes needed for graduation, and length and expectations of the program. If your field or state requires certain classes to get certification or a diploma, make sure you choose a program that matches those standards. When you decide on a school, make sure it is accredited so potential employers will take your degree seriously.
- Call or email the school for more information. Be as specific as possible as to what sort of additional materials you would like to review before making a decision. Ask about financial aid if necessary and any other costs that you may incur, like online resource fees or services. See if they have a program where you can email or talk to a current student to get a better idea of what will be expected of you in the program. If they do not, try to find contact information for your program's dean or another faculty member to ask more specific questions.
- Do not let enrollment or admissions counselors pressure you into making a decision right away. Take as much time as you need to figure out what is right for you. Sometimes the people who answer the phone are hired solely to sell the program and will try to get you to commit instantly. Politely decline and end the call quickly if you are uncomfortable.
- Enroll in your program. Once you have found the right fit for you and have read all of the fine print in the paperwork, sign up, and enjoy your education! Make sure you understand all of the financial aid information and how to register for classes. Ask as many questions as you can. Communication can get skewed a lot easier over email or the phone than in person. Be sure everyone involved is clear of the expectations and agreements before completing the process.
Each school is unique in its enrollment processes. Visit the school's website or contact the admissions office for a more specific set of directions.