California Bill Brings Online College One Step Closer

In California, public college students are used to waiting to try to register for popular or required courses. But if a newly introduced state bill passes, those students may soon be able to take classes online rather than waiting in line.

The bill, introduced by California Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), would allow students at public colleges to take web-based “massive open online courses” (MOOCs) for academic credit in place of certain courses necessary for degree completion if spots are not available in on-campus sections of those courses. Credit would be awarded based on recommendations by the American Council on Education. While faculty panels would have the chance to review online courses and choose appropriate replacements for particular over-registered classes, schools would no longer be able to withhold credit altogether from students seeking online alternatives.

The bill addresses a statewide problem of over-registration for introductory courses in core subjects, particularly at the community college level. The state’s community college system has been sandwiched between budget cuts on one side and increasing demand for higher education on the other. As a result, last fall, three quarters of California’s 112 community colleges were forced to turn students away. The schools’ waitlists averaged 7,000 students. Even those students who are able to matriculate still often find themselves unable to register for the classes they need to graduate or to continue their studies. They must sometimes spend additional semesters in school, simply waiting for spots to open in the required classes.

The online replacement courses promoted by the bill would be offered by third-party providers, some of which are profit-seeking businesses, including Udacity, Straighterline, EdX and Coursera. The program would be paired with an existing statewide effort to promote the use of free, open-source textbooks, according to a press release from the 20 Million Minds Foundation, a California non-profit that focuses on reducing textbook costs. (1)

Using online resources to fill the course gap makes a lot of sense. Allowing students to study introductory-level material in virtual classrooms can keep them on the path to graduation, while freeing up classroom space and time for more advanced classes.

On the surface, allowing online programs to pick up the slack in introductory-level instruction may seem like a professor’s dream. My guess, however, is that instructors and administrators at California’s public colleges will not be pleased. In fact, if it were not for resistance from within academia, there would be no need for the bill, because students would already be able to take courses online for credit.

The reason students need the bill to pass before they can click “Enroll” is accreditation; so far, very few online programs have received it. The college accreditation process, which is run by private organizations dominated by academics and administrators, serves to entrench existing institutions at the expense of competitors that could prove more cost-effective. Rather than applying objective, outcome-based standards, the accreditors, who are mostly affiliated with traditional schools, judge potential newcomers based on whether they adhere to established methods. This automatically blocks innovation and has kept most online programs out of the accredited club.

By withholding accreditation, the powers that be in academia have effectively prevented newer online programs from being able to compete for students. Most students need to prove that their degrees are from accredited schools before those degrees are considered legitimate. Accreditation is also used to determine federal financial aid eligibility. While accredited colleges could choose to grant academic credits to students who complete courses through non-accredited online programs, few do. This is why students wait to get into in-person classes at accredited schools, despite the availability of online programs capable of delivering the same knowledge and skills.

While university faculty and administrators maintain control over the accreditation system, financial pressure will ultimately make change unavoidable. The ever-higher tuition bills and ever-larger student debt that are the byproducts of the current academic arrangement simply cannot be sustained for much longer.

The California bill is a sign that those financial pressures are having an effect. The arrangement proposed in the bill effectively overrides the accrediting agencies by forcing public schools to lend the strength of their own accreditation to high-caliber online classes. This sort of legislative jerry-rigging may not be sufficient in the long run, but at least it is a step in the right direction, bringing us closer to the day when students can choose from a multitude of accredited programs that are online, on-campus or a combination of the two.

The share of high school graduates who go on to college has risen from 45 percent in 1959 to 70 percent in 2009. In that half-century span, employers who once might have accepted candidates with only a high school diploma now use college degrees as their hiring standard. Yet we continue to rely on academic models that were developed when only a minority of students pursued higher education. It is no wonder that those systems are being overwhelmed. We owe it to students to ensure that the educational infrastructure is repaired before it breaks beneath them. If colleges themselves can’t or won’t do this, then lawmakers, particularly at the state level, will need to step in.

If the California bill succeeds, it will offer a valuable lesson to the rest of the country. I hope educators are paying attention.

Source:

1) Yahoo! News, “New California Legislation to Provide MOOC Courses Full Academic Credit”

Online Learning Skills You Need To Master If You Want To Blitz Your Degree

Online learning is now one of the fastest industries that are taking on the World Wide Web today. With all of its benefits and advantages, many people are now turning to the internet for their educational needs. Online learning, also known as e-learning and distance learning, is the type of education where a person studies through the use of a computer and an internet connection where he or she can access learning materials sent over a certain distance from an educator. This is especially very advantageous for many people because it breaks the barrier of distance. In addition to this, it is a more affordable mode of learning.

It is very important to develop online learning skills for you to truly succeed in this endeavor. Many students fail in their online learning because they commit the mistake of putting little emphasis on their study. They lack the proper motivation and self-discipline, which is vital in finishing the entire course.

The first skill that online learners must possess is effective time management. This is crucial because of the very flexible time online learning could offer which is often taken for granted. It is very important to set aside adequate time schedule and have the will power to stick on it. This includes assigning specific time of the day and week for finishing assignments, projects, reading and reviewing notes.

Interpersonal skills are another key factor to consider when taking an online course. One thing that is very challenging with online learning is that there is limited time for personal social interaction because learning is mostly done online. Communicating with fellow students helps you to learn from them as the same time, they learn from you. Furthermore, it is vital that you make enough conversation with your professor to give feedbacks about your expectation and comment about the class.

Always apply what you learned in any way as possible. This is the most effective way to retain what your lessons and thereby, improving your overall academic performance. It is an established fact that we learn by doing. You can do this by yourself in your day-to-day life or you can collaborate with your online classmates to wield a stronger bond.

Finally, you should have the proper mindset and attitude. Online learning could be stressful or overwhelming at times just like other mode of learning but there are many ways that you can still enjoy what you are doing. Just keep your eyes to your ultimate goal and realize that your sacrifices will eventually pay off.

Top Online College Courses to Select Out Best Career Option

Getting some form of top level education has become a pre-requisite to getting many jobs in this economically challenged day and age. Almost everyone is scrambling for a place in a college or university in a bid to pursue a course of their dreams or to enhance their chances of a promotion. For those who cannot secure a place in a any of these institutions, that internet comes in handy. There are many courses being offered by online colleges and it is up to you to choose one of your choices.

There are some top online courses that you can choose from. These courses are classified into categories that include:

o Arts and humanities

o Business

o Computer Training and Information technology

o Education

o Health Sciences and Nursing

o Science and Engineering

o Social Sciences

o Law Studies

o Vocational Training

Some of the top courses from these categories that are offered online include medical related courses, paralegal studies, nursing, homeland security, electrical engineering, business studies, accounting, teaching, architecture, aeronautical engineering, liberal arts, communications, Journalism, software engineering, web design, public relations and human resource management. You can get all the information about all these and more online courses from the web.

You need to be very cautious with how you select an online college to pursue a course that is being offered by the purported college. Online fraudsters are on the increase and are having a field day conning unsuspecting victims of their hard earned cash. Before you apply for an online course or degree program, you need to verify the credibility of the college or university first. Make sure that it is fully certified before you give in any information about yourself.

As the demand of more and more jobs increases, so does the need to get some sort of higher education. Everyone wants to have a better chance of getting that precious job, and so it is common to see people going to great lengths in making their education background better.

What It Means to Be a Modern Online Educator

Traditional college instruction is part of a well-established tradition that has remained fairly unchanged over time. Becoming an instructor in this environment has meant conformity to teaching standards that have also remained fairly unchanged. A college professor is associated with someone who is a subject matter expert, likely to achieve a position with tenure, and have dual roles as an instructor and researcher. It is expected that they will be published authors of scholarly journal articles that have been peer-reviewed and contributed knowledge to their field. While this form of education and instructor still exists, there is another academic institution that has also been established and it is an online college and university.

For a modern form of online education you will not likely find any positions that are labeled professor. Most online universities hire adjuncts and many refer to their instructors as facilitators. Some universities expect their instructors to complete annual professional development requirements but rarely does that include publishing peer-reviewed journal articles. What is needed now more than ever is a new category of educator, one who meets the needs of students who participate in this modern form of education. Now is also the time for online universities to embrace this new form of instructors, those who can be called a Modern Educator.

From Traditional to Online Teaching

The traditional format for educating students is the lecture-driven class. The instructor delivers information to students and they must demonstrate what they have learned through various assessments. They know that their instructor or professor is an expert in the particular subject area for their class. This method of instruction is the same style that is used in primary education and it is teacher-centered. As technology has brought new possibilities for the field of education a new format developed – online courses and online degrees. At first traditional educators taught these courses but over time that has changed, especially as adjuncts filled a majority of the instructional roles. Now with online degree programs and online schools having been fully established in the education field, a new type of educator was also emerging.

Evolution to Modern Teaching

With the growth of online learning came the need for hiring a large volume of instructors. Some online universities have classes that begin weekly and others offer courses starting monthly. Hiring adjuncts was the answer and the majority of jobs teaching undergraduate students have been filled by instructors holding a master’s degree in the subject field they were teaching. Over time the number of instructors qualified to teach online has grown substantially and now many adjunct positions require a doctorate degree. What has contributed to the increased pool of available online instructors is the fluctuation in enrollment numbers, the limited number of full-time online instructor positions, and the increase in degree specializations – especially those related to online teaching. There are also many online schools that offer online teaching specializations and those students who complete their master’s degree are added to the pool. It is estimated that at present there are nearly two million adjunct online instructors teaching online courses.

The requirements for teaching online also may include continuing education. Most online universities require some form of annual professional development. Those universities generally offer workshops and training courses as a means of fulfilling this requirement. Publishing scholarly journals can be used to help meet the professional development requirements but most schools do not require it. These modern teachers are also different from a college professor by the manner in which they are allowed to present themselves in the classroom. An online instructor is often called a facilitator and rarely is this position referred to as a professor – although some instructors will refer to themselves as a professor to establish their position in the learning process. Many online universities tell their instructors to use their first name as a means of creating a casual and approachable image – even if the instructor has a doctorate degree.

An Example of a Modern Educator

Within the field of online education there is a significant difference among educator types. There are those with a master’s degree who can teach undergraduate courses and there are those with doctorate degrees who can teach both undergraduate and graduate students. For those schools that offer doctoral degree programs, an expectation for instructors to be published in a manner similar to that of a college professor may still be in place. But there is a need for a new standard. If traditional methods of learning do not apply to online education, then traditional instructor qualifications should also not apply to online educators. Now is the time for a new instructional category, one that is referred to as a Modern Educator.

My work as an educator has evolved from traditional college teaching to that of online teaching and now I have become a Modern Educator. Instead of spending months (or possibly longer) trying to become published in a scholarly journal, I publish online articles. Instead of my work being available only to those who have access to and read scholarly journals, I now have an opportunity to reach a broader audience. My work is available as soon as I write and publish it, and more importantly – I understand how to use social media. I am connected to an international basis of educators, universities, and students through the use of social media.

Through social media it is possible to share ideas and resources, along with online articles, blog posts, and other intellectual contributions. This also applies to transformation of the publishing process. Instead of waiting to find a publisher and go through the traditional publishing route, I have self-published e-books. This has allowed me to become highly engaged in the field of education and it has redefined what it means to be a college instructor. Becoming a Modern Educator indicates what online instructors should be involved with and online schools developing as a requirement for their professional development.

Steps to Becoming a Modern Educator

Whether you have a master’s degree or doctorate degree, if you teach online courses you need professional development. But this should be more than taking a workshop – it needs to involve making an intellectual contribution. In addition, the work of a Modern Educator also needs to be involved in some form of social or professional networking. Here are some steps you can take and strategies you can use to become a Modern Educator.

#1. Write a Blog – This provides a platform to share your expertise and summarize your knowledge. As you continue to conduct research for your areas of professional interest and you can include what you have learned through your blog posts. There are numerous free resources that will allow you to create and share your blog, such as Word Press.

#2. Write Online Articles – Instead of taking the time required to write and submit articles to scholarly journals, which can always be an option for you, find a resource that allows you to publish online articles. The articles you write, which are based upon your knowledge and experience, will allow you to reach a broader audience, refine your writing skills, and establish yourself as a subject matter expert. I utilize Ezine Articles, which is an article marketing database.

#3. Use Social Networking – Every online educator needs to learn how to establish their presence via technology. It only makes sense that if you work in a technology-enabled environment you should also know how to be engaged in online communities. LinkedIn provides a means of professional networking, finding groups that match your interest, and even finding online jobs. Twitter can connect you to an international base of educators, students, and universities – providing a place to share resources.

#4. Develop a Website -If you find that you are highly ambitious and want to develop more than a blog you could also build your own website. This would be a place for you to house resources that you have created, which could be shared with educators and students. There are free webhosting services available and others that charge a small fee.

#5. Write E-Books – The field of publishing has changed and now authors are taking back control by making their books available in an e-book format. Kindle and Nook devices are the most popular devices. Kobo is another device that is gaining popularity because it can be used on mobile devices such as Blackberry. You will likely need to hire someone to format the book, sign up for an account to distribute your e-book, and once it is ready you can have it available in a relatively short amount of time.

Maintaining a Modern Educator Status

A Modern Educator is someone who does more than teach online classes. They are active in the field of education and their chosen subject matter. They know how to teach using technological tools and engage in a virtual community of other educators through social media. The Modern Educator is also conducting research and making intellectual contributions through technological means. The work they publish is done through technologically-enabled resources and made immediately available for their intended audience. They know how to use social media to promote their work and share resources with other educators and students.

It is time now for the Modern Educator mentality to become the standard for online learning. Instruction has adapted in format from traditional to online, and so too must the instructor. It is also important that online schools and hiring specialists recognize the new Modern Educator. This is someone who has likely taught for several institutions because of fluctuating enrollments and staff changes; however, what matters most is their ongoing professional development and intellectual contributions. The most desirable candidate for an online teaching position is someone with more than extensive work as an online educator. It is someone who can also utilize technological tools as a means of publishing their work and connecting with other educators. A Modern Educator is the new college professor and the one most prepared for teaching through the use of technology.

The Benefits Of Online Education

The idea of online education was scoffed at not so many years ago. But these days both educational institutions and prospective students are taking online education seriously.

The first universities to offer accredited online degrees began appearing back in the 1990s. More often than not, these groundbreaking schools were looked down upon by the “academic elite,” and considered to be somehow “shady” or disreputable. But a lot has certainly changed since then, and these days even the most prestigious Ivy League universities are offering online classes, and sometimes, a complete online curriculum for distance learning.

If you’ve wondered how online education works, or if it would be a good alternative for you, read on to get a sense of the online learning experience and what it means to be a “virtual student.”

Obviously the biggest difference between online education and attending an actual university is that it is not necessary to be in any particular location to study. This means that much of the social aspect of going to college is removed from the online education experience. But depending on your point of view, this could actually be a very good thing. It makes it possible to bypass a lot of the peer pressure and “popularity contests” that many college cultures have become inundated with.

If you are an older student — and by older, I mean over 24 — you will probably find much of the petty jostling for popularity and status to be a real turnoff anyway. That’s why online education can be a great option for returning students, or those who are a little more mature.

One of the biggest questions prospective students have about online education is how the virtual classroom actually works. While there are similarities between the virtual classrooms used in online education, and the brick and mortar classrooms of a traditional university, there are striking differences as well.

For example, if you attend a physical campus you will enter the classroom and attend a certain course at a certain time that will be designated to last between one and three hours on average. The instructor of the course will likely lecture for the majority of this time, but there may also be some student participation. At the end of the class the instructor may assign homework or inform students of upcoming quizzes.

But in a virtual classroom the structure is much more open, and there is a far greater degree of flexibility in the lesson plans. For example, normally you may log into your virtual class at any time, where you will listen, read and watch videos covering the course material. As a general rule, you may take as much time as you like to go over the material and complete any assignments given. While your course instructor will normally be available to ask questions via real-time online chat, e-mail or instant messaging, they will not monitor your progress or concern themselves with your work habits.

This means that with online education the student has far greater responsibility for their own learning. No one will babysit you, or ensure that you are doing the required work; it is simply presented to you, and you are expected to be responsible for completing assignments and reviewing the information.

This kind of freedom and flexibility fits many people perfectly, but others — especially younger students — may crave the structure of traditional campus learning. If your time is important to you, and you are motivated enough to be responsible for yourself, online education could be a perfect fit for you.

Making Online Education Attractive

All over the world, the numbers of people in school at the different levels takes pyramidal shape. There are huge numbers at the elementary, but as they progress, the numbers decrease, leaving just a few in higher education. In the United States, some 65 million students were expected to enroll from K to K12 in the fall of 2015. In the same period, it was expected that 20.2 million would be attending Colleges and Universities. It is estimated that 25% of fresh high school students in the U.S.A are not able to graduate. For fresh students who enter colleges or universities 1 out of 3 are likely not make it to second year. This dropout out rate hinders national development, because many people do not receive the full training they need to be functional in society. National development would be hugely fostered, if more adults receive education, in order that they become functional in society.

I am not saying that all adults who were not fully educated are not playing important roles in society. There are very prominent individuals in society who dropped out of school at some level. Bill Gate, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, for example, at some point dropped out of school. Though this list is not exhaustive, the number of people who dropped out of school or decided not to gain higher education and yet became successful are relatively few. For the majority who dropped out or discontinued education, and could not become successful in their careers, it was because they lacked the knowledge they needed to develop their potential. If you check the history of those who in spite of dropping out or discontinuing schooling have become successful, you would find that appeared to have found their life’s purpose and so pursued those goals and, more importantly, they received some kind of education later.

Education as we all know is a life-long activity. At any point in time, whether you dropped out of school or got honors at your graduation, you would need education. The school dropout who has found himself a vocation or gained employment needs education so he/she can be more productive, the dropout who has realized the need to school but has ‘grown past school going age’ and desires to school obviously needs education, managers as well as employees need further education in order to keep pace with today’s rapidly changing world and gain increased wages and status respectively. Somehow, the traditional education dependent society we have created for ourselves and considers the ‘best’, limits our quest for continuing education. For many people, formal education ended the day they dropped out or graduated from High School, College or University, even though, technology makes it possible for us to sit in our houses and still get quality education.

When technology – computers and internet connectivity – replaced physical classrooms and made it possible to study by distance in real time, it appeared the issue of continuous education for everyone, including the dropout and the working class have been solved. It appeared, and still does, that now the teacher need not leave his students, apply for study-leave or leave of absence to pursue further education. It appeared the fifty-year-old woman who dropped out of school several years ago could now school from home and it appeared the father could learn what his daughter is learning at College using the same device he uses to call her. That is what it appeared. Those who dropped out of school due to issues of finance and have not since had a breakthrough would not benefit, and those who have the money would not want to put their money into a certificate employers and academicians alike would frown upon. So little appear to have changed for these two groups of people, though online Colleges and Universities abound.

Two prime issues are to blame. First, online education is too expensive for the target group of learners and second, there is the perception that online Colleges and Universities do not provide holistic education like the traditional Colleges and Universities. As indicated by Ed Vosganian – founder and CEO of College Funding 123, the cost of on-campus University for undergraduate is estimated at 42,000 dollars while for the same group it cost around 21,000 dollars for online universities. By comparison we would say that it cost far less to study via online. But we need not lose sight of those who mostly enroll in online University. It is those in the middle and lower classes who opt for online universities. They include; the employee who has sacrificed pleasure for higher qualification in return for better wages, the unemployed who wants to gain employable skills, the dropout who wants to get back to school in the hope that there will be a brighter future, and the people living in the remote part of the world, especially in the developing world, who don’t even have the money to pay fees and so would have to learn and work simultaneously. To these 21,000 dollars is money so huge, it is very difficult to raise. There are people of the higher income class who enroll in online universities, but online learning is not popular among these due to low prestige and the myths associated with online education. The online institutions will tell you, they would not put anything on your certificate to show that you received a non-traditional education. This kind of advert speaks of how society values online education. Online education is considered a cheap way of getting ‘watered down’ education. Online Colleges and Universities were until recently considered diploma mills. This perception still exists, though empirical evidence tells us there is no disparity in quality of students from traditional Colleges and Universities on one hand and online Colleges and Universities on the other. The online Universities and Colleges are doing their best to make online learning prestigious and bring down study cost, but they cannot do it alone. With government intervention online learning can become prestigious and lower and middle class friendly.

Government should provide a national framework for online education, subsidize accreditation, and grant scholarships and student loans for students in online Colleges and Universities. A national framework to guide the operations of all online colleges and universities should be instituted by the state, through the Department of Education or the relevant government agency. This framework, which would be descriptive and not prescriptive in nature would describe, for example, the minimum courses to be taken at a given level, and the general mode of operation of online universities and colleges without prescribing specific courses or mode of operation. Accreditation is not just laborious for online Colleges and Universities; it is also expensive. This cost is passed to students, souring up program fees. If the government decides to absorb half the cost of accreditation, though there is no guarantee the program fees will be halved, the program fee would be reduced somehow. Lastly, most of the students who opt for online colleges and universities do not receive scholarships and student loans from the state. Those who receive something do not get huge scholarships and student loans like their counterparts in traditional Colleges and Universities. Government should make scholarships and students loans available to students of online Colleges and Universities just as it does for students in traditional Colleges and Universities.

The ramifications of these interventions would definitely be awesome. Providing a national framework for online education would take away the false negative perception people have about online learning. Many think online learning is easy and also the number of credits taken are far less than those taken in traditional learning settings. This thinking exists because there are some poorly designed online courses in which certificate are awarded after just a couple of assignments have been submitted. Such practices can be stopped, when a national framework is developed and operationalized. A national framework will give credibility to online learning, because a national standard for online would have to be adhered to and so no online college or university can just sell certificate. Subsidizing Accreditation will yield three results. The most obvious is that, it would reduce program fees because amount to pass to the students would be less. Subsidizing accreditation fees would encourage online Colleges and Universities to seek accreditation from accrediting bodies recognize by the Department of Education or the appropriate state agency. Even though accreditation is not compulsory in some parts of the world, like the united states, some occupation that require state licensing would not accept degree from non-accredited Colleges and University. Prospective online learners are, usually, worried about whether the can easily work with their certificates. Government intervention would remove this worry and remove the negative perception people have about online education as well. Government interventions in the form of scholarship and loans would ease the financial burden and make it possible for those who hitherto would not be able to school to do so. In sum, government intervention would go a long way to produce an enlightened society by permitting many people to receive higher education.

There are many people wanting to get higher education through online Colleges and Universities so they gain knowledge and skills, or enhance their knowledge and skills but cannot do because of either the cost or the uncertainty of the acceptability of the certificate. Government intervention in the form of national framework for online universities and colleges, subsidizing accreditation cost and providing scholarships and student loans would open the door for those who want to study from home. Government intervention can give the assurance that online learning is as good as traditional college or university learning, and that their certificate would be accepted jobs that require state licensing. It would ease the pressure on facilities in traditional Colleges and Universities, produce the well-educated citizenry needed for national development and convert the current pyramidal shape into a ‘near’ cylinder.

REFERENCE

Ed Vosganian (n.d.). The Real Price of Online College. Retrieved from http://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/financial-aid/online-college-degree-cost/.

How to Find Accredited Online College Courses

Recent graduates easily discover that having participated in an accredited program is a must for any successful career, but finding one that’s flexible enough for students with current job and family demands which is also recognized for academic rigor takes a bit of detective work. Accredited online college courses are a superb solution to the situation, especially as more of them are becoming available every single day from new and long-established institutions alike. In what follows, we’ll check out the key benefits of accredited online college courses, what accreditation means for you and your potential employers, and how online learning makes it possible to acquire a stellar education.

Exactly what are Accredited Courses? An institution is accredited when an external committee grants it a seal of approval for having met a collection of academic standards and guidelines. In america, colleges are often approved by regional accrediting bodies, such as Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, that are themselves identified by the U.S. Department of Education or perhaps the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Additionally, specific schools in a university that provide professional or pre-professional courses of study, including law or psychology, might also require accreditation from separate bodies that specialise in certifying programs in those fields. Choosing schools and programs which have been recognized by these organizations helps to ensure that classes will transfer with less effort to colleges and that employers will be assured of the quality of your education.

What are Benefits associated with Online College Programs? Today students hold the benefit of taking fully accredited courses online. Because of this a challenging and fulfilling program could be pursued at home, without interrupting work and family schedules. You can decide to sign up for a “brick and mortar” college offering distance learning courses or a fully online university, but the class delivery format is much the same. You will generally be held to the same admission standards every other student if you select a traditional university, and in both traditional and online colleges you will be expected to complete quality work by preset deadlines each semester. Classes often include various multimedia learning tools, for instance video lectures, live classrooms, audio files, and virtual blackboards, simulating a lot of the teaching methods you might be already acquainted with from your experiences in traditional classrooms. The difference is the freedom to decide when and how often you would like to engage in the content. The grading criteria remains much the same as in traditional classrooms, but an allowance is made for different schedules and learning styles.

How Can I Find Fully Accredited Online College Courses? There are several things you can do toward finding the program that fits your needs. The initial step for a lot of students would be to make the most of a college-matching service online. These programs ask you for several details associated with your research, like the college major you intend to choose or the format you would like to learn by (online), and match your preferences to all colleges within their databases that fit the description you provide. Several websites also exist that are dedicated solely to providing information on online learning for students that meet certain specific criteria, like those seeking a medical degree. When you choose a database to search, simply check “accredited” in the advanced search options or type the phrase into the search box provided. Finally, you may also opt to simply go to the websites of each college that interests you and click on on links leading to accreditation information and online program information. Remember, however, that not all accredited colleges offer only accredited online programs. Check each online course or program individually to make sure, and search for written confirmation of certification when possible.

Whether your goal is to start a new career, go back to school to succeed in the one you’re already in or just take part in lifetime learning, the benefits of online courses are difficult to disregard. Education that can occur in spite of your distance from campus, devotion to family, job demands, physical limitations, or whatever may be stopping you moving forward right now is possible. Simply be sure you demand academic excellence and a full value for your dollar from whatever online program you decide on by seeking out accrediting information from the beginning.

Online Education Master’s Degrees

A master’s degree gives students training and education in a specialized field of expertise with greater depth than studying for a bachelors degree. Students pursuing a master’s degree traditionally need to hold a bachelors degree and commit to one to six years of study in a particular field. Online education masters degree programs make it easier for working business professionals to complete their education and attain advanced positions in their field.

Masters degrees definitely afford individuals an opportunity to increase their earning potential. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average weekly earnings for a masters degree holder are $1,102, which is $200 more than people holding a bachelors degree. These statistics further reveal that only 5.9 percent of adults in America hold a masters degree.

Online education masters degree programs may consist of any combination of advanced study courses, internships and independent research, such as a thesis. Some master’s degree programs enable students to go directly into a career, others require internships or additional credentials and some prepare students to enter doctoral degree programs. To fulfill the requirements of a masters degree program, students must attend between 30 to 60 semester hours, which may be completed online between 15 and 36 months.

Masters degrees are differentiated by post-nominal letters that indicated the level of academic achievement, honor or office a student has earned. The most common areas of online education masters degree study are:

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.). The National Postsecondary Student Aid Study determined that about one in five students seeking to earn a master’s degree pursue an M.B.A. The masters degree in business administration is research-oriented and involves independent study and achievement. Online education masters degree programs give business executives the ability to fit educational advancement into their schedules at their convenience. Further, according to “Taking the E-Train” by Douglas Bartholomew there are quite a few opportunities for business networking and making professional connections through online education.

Master of Education (MEd, MAT, MSEd). According to the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, about 28 percent of students study for a masters degree with a focus on education. There are several specialization that students can choose, including elearning, corporate training, teaching and administration. Graduates can pursue careers as teachers, in technology or as principals and administrators or pursue doctoral degrees to seek positions as education experts in their field. Online education masters degree programs provide educators with the opportunity to seek advanced education while maintaining their current positions and tenure in the field.

Master of Science (M.S.). A master of science can be earned in a variety of research, education and health care fields. Pursuing an M.S. degree usually involves independent study as well field work. Graduates are employed in careers such as research, health care, education and more. Certain M.S. Programs prepare students to enter doctorate study to become employed in positions such as physicians and health care administrators. Online education masters degree programs give busy doctors, nurses and scientists the chance to practice in the field while attaining higher degrees.

Master of Arts (M.A.). A masters degree in the arts is often considered to be a terminal degree. This means that graduates are prepared to enter their chosen field and no further degree is needed to advance professionally. For example, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) enables graduates to enter directly into careers such as a photographers, sculptor, creative writer and painter. An M.A. gives a greater level of distinction, expertise accomplishment to those working in the fine arts and can even qualify people to educate others on artistic pursuits.

Financial aid is readily available for all types of online education masters degree programs. Students can find out about tuition reimbursement from their employers, especially in fields such as health care that need more certified people in certain professions. Federal and state grants and loans may be available, such as Stafford Loans. There are also private students loans through entities such as Citibank. Certain online education programs offer payment plans to students who are unable to pay a lump sum at the beginning of the semester. Finally, there are a wealth of scholarships available to students willing to apply and pursue them. Financial assistance is readily available for students who want to attend online education masters degree programs.

The increased availability of financial aid coupled with the convenience and flexibility of online education masters degree programs have made it easier for more people to earn advanced degrees. “Earned Degrees Conferred by Gender, 1870 to 2000” revealed that between 1970 and 2000, the number of masters degrees earned by women increased over 220 percent. The number of masters degrees awarded to men increased 53 percent. According to the College Board 2006, these graduates are certain to benefit from obtaining an advanced degree as only 6% of the population have one.

Academic Income Can Multiply With Online Adjunct Teaching Jobs

A dependable academic income is possible now with the easy availability of inexpensive laptop computers and almost universal wireless access to the Internet. In fact, combining these two technical advances with an earned graduate degree, a master or doctorate degree, can allow an educator at the post-secondary level of public education to multiply an academic income with online adjunct teaching jobs. The intellectual landscape for individuals wishing to teach at the post-secondary level for a living is fragmenting far beyond most educators’ imaginations. To be brutally honest, the chances of landing a tenure-track position that eventually evolves into an actual tenured position are becoming less every day. This disappearance of career positions at physical college and university campuses is the result of evaporating faculty budgets. However, the number of enrolled new and returning college students eager to earn an online bachelor degree or online master degree requires a growing number of qualified teachers willing to become an online professor with the necessary technical skill set and understanding of the requirements teaching online for online bachelor degree programs and online master degree programs require of the online instructor.

Make no mistake about if you have recently matriculated from a graduate program: distance education is growing by leaps and bounds and the technology develops at record breaking paces, and every online college class must have an online professor teaching the online course. This means that as more online college degree programs are made available by academic administrators needing less costly ways to meet the post-secondary education needs of the swelling student populations, the greater chance there is for an aggressive and informed online adjunct instructor to mass eight to ten online adjunct teaching jobs into an online teaching schedule that will generate a considerable amount of online adjunct income throughout the calendar year. It is entirely possible to earn as much as fifty thousand dollars a year teaching online provided there are enough online faculty positions in the online teaching schedule.

You should not assume that it is easy to collect enough online adjunct positions to generate a full time living from a personal computer. It will take genuine focus to make a dozen applications each day for online college teaching jobs. Fortunately, there are over five thousand post-secondary academic institutions that offer their enrolled students an opportunity to earn a college degree online from their personal computers at home and at work. While thousands of prospective employers may seem like a rich market for a beginning online professor, the reality is that it will take a daily effort to apply to as many colleges, state universities, community colleges, technical schools and for-profit colleges to land six to ten online courses. The reason this effort is necessary is the growing amount of competition among individual with graduate degrees trying to replace lost incomes or at least supplement existing incomes by teaching online. The schools have their pick of thoroughly qualified online adjuncts, and the online college professors that have successfully acquired online teaching positions are extremely hesitant to give them up for any reason in this uncertain economy.

While the opportunities to earn a real living from online instructor positions are actually available in the digital academy, the way an academic harnesses these opportunities is by learning how the Internet makes it possible to build a schedule filled with multiple online teaching positions that can be access according to the financial goals of the individual online instructor. The best way to begin constructing a viable online teaching schedule is to start identifying the post-secondary academic websites on the Internet and learning how to move quickly and efficiently in and out of the faculty application sections of each school’s website.

If you have an earned graduate degree, a master degree or doctorate, and you want to teach college and university students from a computer located in any physical spot on the globe, and that means any city, state or even country, then online adjunct teaching jobs could be a real answer. The need for technically prepared and academically qualified online adjuncts will only grow in the coming years.

At the same time, the willingness of academic administrators to spend the few budgetary funds that are available to them as state budgets for public education contract dramatically on traditional faculty salaries and benefits, the majority of which cannot be withdrawn after tenure is conferred on a college or university professor, is becoming weaker with each passing semester. This means that the online college adjunct instructor can expect to earn a large sum of income from just one or two online college classes. Instead, a prospective online professor should know that the average online college degree program pays its online instructors around two thousand dollars for online course on average. Of course, the pay for an individual master degree course can be a bit higher, and a doctorate is usually paid several hundred dollars more than a master degree for each online class.

The conclusion for you, an aspiring online adjunct instructor, to reach is that it will be necessary to reexamine your thinking about the traditional approach to seeking academic employment as an educator at the post-secondary level. It is no longer economically wise to depend on state funding of public faculty salaries. Instead, the answer is to develop the entrepreneurial viewpoint as an academic and make the necessary adjustments needed to transition out of the physical college classroom and into an online teaching schedule populated with at least a dozen online classes that can continue providing regular paychecks every month of the year from any location you choose to work from each day.

What Makes Online Education a Better Option For You?

Nowadays, pursuing a degree through online education is common, and the value of online degree from a proper accredited university or college is equally weight than the traditional campus-based degree. With both campus-based degree and online education you have more options to choose from if you want to earn a degree for you career advancement. Online education has many advantages that can benefit its students, but it may not be a good option for all students; then what makes online education a better option for you?

Here a 5 signs that an online education might be a better option for you:

1. You want to continue your current job while pursuing a degree

In order to success in both work and study, you need to have a good time management that helps you to stay focus in both tasks. Online education will make it easier for you if you are the person who does not want to give up your paycheck while earning a degree for better career future. The advantages of online education that allows it students to have the most flexible learning environment can benefit a working individual and plan your times that best fit into both work and study.

2. You are managing multiple time commitments Online education helps to cut down wasted time in traveling to and from school while providing flexible scheduling that can enables you to fully utilize your time. If you are a person with full of time commitments with multiple working around obligations, you will appreciate the anytime, anywhere access of the virtual classroom. Online education will be a better option for you if you have such working obligations while you study:

  • Frequent traveling for job assignment
  • Unfixed working schedule / work on shift
  • Involve in project-based work that need long working hour
  • Need to take care of your children after work hours

3. You are a visual learner Traditional campus-based learning style is more emphasis on auditory activities such as lectures and oral discussions while online education learning style is mostly in visual learning format that involves reading, writing with various visual aids found in virtual classroom. Hence, if you prefer to “read and learn” than “listen and learn” type of style, an online education learning environment will be a better option for you.

4. You are self-motivated “Self-motivation” is the key factor to a success online study. Online classes allow you to logon to the class at anytime and remain in the online class for the duration you prefer, nobody will push at your back to urge you complete you projects or assignments. You may move through the material at your own pace, passing quickly on the area you already familiar with and spending more time to understand new concepts. If you equip with a good “self-motivation” characteristic, then you should have no problem in completing an online education program which makes it a better option for you.

5. You are interest in a specialized degree not available locally One of the most compelling reasons to opt for online education is you can earn your dream degree offered by any of university in the world as long as the university offers online degree programs. Distance is not an issue for online education because you can reach it with mouse clicks no matter how far it is located from your place. The online education will become a better option for you when the degree you are interested in is not available locally.

Summary

Earning a degree online can have many advantages over the traditional campus-based education. It will become your better education option if the advantages of online education can benefit you while helping you to achieve your education goal in a better way.