Your education is one of the most costly and most important investments you’ll ever make. Choosing the right school, the right program, and the right media can make all the difference. With brick and mortar buildings, you have lots of local people to talk to when trying to determine if the school will meet your needs. What about when you are considering an online program? How do you find out if the school and program are right for you?
The most important facet of any college is finding out whether or not they are accredited. Without accreditation, your degree may not be worth the paper it is printed on. Also, if you are planning to pursue graduate school or another degree down the road, the degree and your classes may not transfer. Be sure to select an accredited school to save yourself, time, money and aggravation.
Go over the program thoroughly. Say for example you are looking at a nursing degree. Does the program the school offers meet the requirements for your state? Does it offer all the classes you want to take? Can you specialize? Are the credits transferable? These and other questions should be explored. The site should offer a way to contact them to speak with a counselor either online or on the phone. Make sure your questions are completely answered before enrolling.
Online classes come in a variety of offerings. Some are strictly online where all your work and communication is done through cyber space. Others however, have requirements for periodic visits to the school. This may be for lab assignments, tests or face to face meeting with the teacher to go over your progress. If the school you have picked is local, this may be no problem. However, if the school is out of state or simply farther away than you are willing to drive on a semi-periodic basis, this media or school may not be a good match.
You’ll also need to be able to access any software required by the school or the class. Online schools use special software to allow for the transfer of documents and fro communication between teachers and students as well as between the students themselves. Depending on the class you are taking, you may need to have software you buy and install on your home computer. Your system will need to be able to handle all these requirements or else you may have to upgrade your system to do so.