One of the problems with the first online universities was one of accreditation. Today most online schools list the agencies they’re accredited by, but it still pays to check that the accrediting bodies listedactually exist and that they’re recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the Department of Education for that region.Accreditation let’s employers know that you’ve been trained in a course of study that meets the standards set for your future career. Accreditation is also important if you plan to transfer credits to another school later or seek a more advanced degree.
A reputable online school will usually list their curriculum and provide at least a short synopsis of the courses it offers. It’s up to the student to find out if the school’s curriculum meets the standards set by governing bodies for that course of study.
This goes hand in hand with accreditation. The prospective student should find out if their credits are transferable to other accredited universities and colleges, and, if not, why not.
Part of the point of advancing your education is to prepare you for advancement on the job. A reputable school should provide support during your education and for a short time after. How much support and guidance is available to students during their studies, and how much does the school help their graduates with regard to job placement and other services after? Other considerations are student financial aid and career counselling services.
Look At The Numbers
Whenever they’re available, a student should find out the statistics of the school they’re considering. For example, what’s the student/teacher ratio? Other good information to have before you make a decision are graduation and drop out rates, loan default statistics and post-graduation employment numbers.
Asking the right questions can help you make a wise and informed investment regarding your education. Any school is only as good as it’s performance and the degree to which it helps it’s students prepare for the future. Monash online is an example of a distance learning provider that can help you earn your degree in a wide range of fields. There are many more viable options for continuing education these days than in the past.