Before opting for an accelerated online education, it is important to know its benefits and how it can be suited to your goals. These steps raise some important considerations and give some insight into the world of accelerated online education.
- What is accelerated online education? It is distance learning, delivered via the internet, using multi-media programs and other learning tools. Accelerated online degrees can be earned in a fraction of time at a reduced cost when compared to traditional brick and mortar institutions. This method is aimed mainly at adult learners who can bring their daily experiences into the online course environment.
- Is it right for me? It's a myth that accelerated online learning is easier than traditional education. Getting an accelerated education online isn't for everyone. You have to be self-motivated, driven and determined to meet your educational goals. You have to have excellent time-management skills to juggle your assignment deadlines, family-life and work commitments. On the flip side, it allows you to take classes at your convenience while maintaining your regular responsibilities.
- Accelerated course structure. Typically, accelerated courses are offered one class at a time over a period of weeks, rather than months. The same material and skills assessments that are taught in the traditional courses are carried over to accelerated courses. The difference is in the delivery and presentation method, as accelerated learning is offered in a condensed format.
A vast amount of material is covered in this short time frame. Focusing on one subject at a time allows for less distraction and better memory retention. By the end of the course, the information should still be fresh in your mind, compared to traditional courses where it could have been months since you covered a specific topic.
- Convenience. Although you will have deadlines for materials once you begin, accelerated learning can be convenient. The material is available 24 hours a day. You also have access to online reading material and multi-media materials that you can continuously review. In addition to course materials, you can contact your instructor or other students via email, message boards and chat rooms.
- Determine your degree goals. Accelerated online learning has grown in popularity over the years, resulting in a multitude of course offerings. Yet as it has opened up, there are still some limitations. Keep an open mind when searching for a degree program that can fit your needs. You may have to adjust your mind set if online learning is your primary focus.
- Find a degree program. Search the internet for you area(s) of interest and the courses offered. You can also contact your local college or university to see what types of online courses they offer. This is a good option if you want to take some courses online and some in class. However, if you plan to do strictly online learning, you don't have to limit yourself to local institutions.
- Research. Make sure the program you choose is legitimate and accredited. Don't get caught up in diploma mills or programs that don't offer college credit.
- Enroll. Apply for the degree program following the enrollment guidelines, which vary from college to college.
- Transfer credit. If you took any previous college courses, inquire about transferring those credits. It could get you a few steps closer to earning your degree.
- Earn that degree! It may seem overwhelming at first but just take it one class at a time, literally! Before you know it you will have that hard-earned degree in the palm of your hands!