While you learn many things in this life from nonaccredited sources you may find employers in the working world less likely to consider your educational background of much value if it doesn’t come from an accredited college, online or no. But, are there any other important things to consider? Beyond accreditation here are several other points you may want to consider before signing up for your online classes. Keep in mind this list does not all inclusive.

Gen. Course Setup. Are you interested in just the content of the course or do you need or prefer having somebody who can help you understand the material? For some the former option is ideal, they hammer away in their own mind and wrestle with text and come to a good understanding of the material. However, some students work much better with regular interaction with other students and teachers. If this is your situation, make sure to look for a solution where the teacher is more involved with the students.

Instruct your knowledge. The level of understanding a professor or instructor brings the table can be an essential piece of obtaining a profound online education. Some instructors or facilitators may simply be there to answer questions about the text, while others will have valuable experience in the area being studied. Look for classes where the instructors have experience in the field in which you are studying. This will greatly add to the value of your online classes.

Completion rates. While you may have to dig to get this information an online counselor should be able to tell you roughly how many students finish the classes they begin. A low completion rate may indicate some problems with the course. It may be that the class work is too hard, too boring, or not well matched to the students enrolling. If completion rates are low make sure to get a reason why before continuing any further.

Class size. This may not matter in a self-paced system where you are merely given the material to study and take the tests when you’re ready and have little or no teacher interaction. However, in a class where the teacher is actively involved with the students the more there are the less potential attention you can get from your professor. A 20 to 1 ratio is a good amount for the average class. If the subject matter is more difficult or intense you may find a smaller class size to be assured you’ll get the help you need.

Support. Ask yourself, “Will this college provide me with adequate support?” Support for online classes is more than just teacher support. You may need support when there are problems with the website, your browser, or other technical issues. If the program you’re considering doesn’t offer a good amount of support you can risk there not being any problems, but if something comes up you may be in for some frustration and possible non-completion.

So, in addition to looking for accredited online colleges, make sure to give a little more thought to where you end up receiving your online education.

Comments are closed.