If you are a busy person who wants to pursue higher education in college, or someone who wishes to attend a state university in some place like Australia or Canada, but you don’t have the time and resources to travel, you can opt for distance learning. Under this system, you will be able to enroll and receive instructional materials even if you are not physically present in school. Distance learning is made possible through the Internet and other forms of communication technology.
Enrolling in distance education is not a casual decision, thus you need to be careful in choosing a college that offers this scheme. Here are important things to consider when finding a college that is offering distance education:
- Decide what program you want and check its availability at the college of your choice. If you pick adult education, be sure the college where you will enroll is offering this curriculum. Be aware that not all colleges offering distance education are certified to conduct adult education.
- Verify if the college you want to check out is duly accredited. You can confirm this with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education. If you learn that the college of your preference is not on the accredited list, make further clarification if the said school has already applied for accreditation. Also find out the possible time when its accreditation is due for release.
- As everyone already knows, the Internet is a vast source of information and there is practically nothing you can’t find on the web. You can conduct a site to site search. However to make your hunt easier, you can visit a college directory site where you can locate a roll of colleges and universities and their respective profiles and website addresses. A commonly recommended website is broadcast-live.com. Here you will find a list of colleges offering distance education across the country and overseas. Athabasca University in Canada, Charles Sturt University in Australia, Kansas State University, University of Wisconsin and University of Southern Queensland in England are among the universities enlisted in the recommended website.
- You can’t afford to make a mistake in this decision, because so much time and money are at stake. Hence erase all doubts, and substantiate your judgment by calling the college you want to enroll in. Ask for the names of students who already completed the program you wish to take. Next, talk to these students and see if their testimonies match your expectations of the degrees being recommended.
- Request an actual evaluation of ongoing classes, whether online or in actual classroom sessions so you can have an idea of how real instruction is delivered.
- Students per instructor ratio is very important. The ideal ratio is ten to one; twenty to one is still good, but thirty to one is too much. Some colleges employ a central instructional system in which all students are grouped under a single instruction program.
- Make sure that your schedule will permit you to personally report to school during examination periods. If not, you might as well re-consider your options.
- Clarify if a refund is possible. If you cannot finish the program for whatever reason, it will be good if you can get a refund. However not all schools adopt this policy.