The urge for a new career path strikes the most when working an unfulfilling job. It is evident that you can accomplish more than that dead-end, hourly pay job that works you ragged and leaves you with nothing more than a paltry paycheck. But simply picking up and packing out is not in the cards. There is rent to pay, and credit card payments to make. How can you seek something greater when the doldrums of paying bills bogs you down?
A popular option these days is to take online courses en route to earning a degree. This is an affordable, convenient and viable option. Not everyone is in a position to drop everything and attend a four-year college. The ability to earn a degree online, from the comfort and convenience of home, provides an alternate path for many people. However, just choosing any online school is ill-advised. A prospective student must identify the program that best fits their intended career path. Additionally, the online school must be accredited. Here lies a huge split within the online institutions: regionally accredited or nationally accredited.
Generally, the difference is that the regionally accredited online schools are academic, not-for-profit institutions. Conversely, nationally accredited programs are for-profit, vocational, technical and/or career schools. Students must always note this distinction, especially if they are considering the possibility of transferring credits from an online school to a four-year institution. Regionally accredited online schools have a vastly larger rate of credit transfer acceptance. This is widely attributed to stricter standards in faculty qualifications and library resources. What does all this mean? Regionally accredited online schools offer a more well-rounded, comprehensive, reputable and overall better education than their national counterparts.
Regionally accredited online schools are divided into six main regional agencies. All prospective online students should consult the agency that represents their respective region. This is critical for choosing the correct program and for ensuring any future plans to move on to a four-year program will transfer seamlessly. The variety of degrees offered at regionally accredited online schools is extensive. Nearly every concentration that four-year schools offer are also available via online degrees. From psychology or sociology, to accounting or business management, regionally accredited online schools are an excellent building block for higher education. Students that in their yesteryears took the community college route before transferring to a four-year college or university are now considering the online path.
The reputations of regionally accredited online institutions are gaining more respect year after year. It is important to note that the ignominious reports sometimes heard about online education are primarily concerned with nationally accredited institutions. These for-profit programs do not include the non-profit, academically-centered regionally accredited online schools. The key for any prospective student is to do their research and choose the school that best fits their needs. Advisors can assist in this process and confirm the transferability of credits within a specific region.
Nearly everything in today's world contains an online component. It is of no surprise that education has a growing presence online. As long as a student confers with their regional agency and chooses the program that is best for them, regionally accredited online schools are an excellent option in higher education.