Online Bachelor’s Degree Program Questions
- Is the School Accredited?
- How Long Does it Take To Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Online?
- Can I Transfer Existing Credits to an Online Degree Program?
- How is Course Content Delivered and When Might I Have to Meet with Instructors and Peers?
- What is the Difference Between Bachelors’ Degree Awarded by a Brick-and-Mortar University and one Awarded by an Online School?
Earning an online Bachelor’s degree can be as intellectually satisfying as completing a degree in a physical University. This Bachelor’s degree can serve as the ticket to future success in the workplace or further study in a graduate program. Before enrolling in an online program, there are several key questions that the prospective student should consider.
Is the School Accredited?
Possibly the most important first step a student will take when considering enrollment in an online school is to verify its accreditation. Do not merely simply research reviews of the school online; affirm that the school is nationally or regionally accredited by an accepted governing body such as The Council for Higher Education Accreditation. While advantages and disadvantages exist with each type of accreditation, you are wasting your time and money (before taking a single test) if the school is an unaccredited diploma mill.
How Long Does it Take To Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Online?
In a traditional University, the undergraduate usually earns their degree within four years. Online colleges can offer greater flexibility by allowing students to take more credit hours or by offering accelerated programs in some courses of study. This can cut down the time it takes to earn a Bachelor’s degree by a year or more, but the student must then devote more time to their studies. Remember also that even online colleges require that undergraduates complete their online Bachelor’s degree program within a fixed period of time.
Can I Transfer Existing Credits to an Online Degree Program?
This is an important question because it might save you having to retake courses if you started your degree at a physical University. Virtually all online colleges accept existing credits provided these were earned at an accredited school. Often these credits will need to have been earned within a recent span of time to be considered valid. Moreover, most colleges will only accept only C grades or higher for transfer. A good online college will have a transfer advisor who can authoritatively answer any questions students may have prior to enrolling.
How is Course Content Delivered and When Might I Have to Meet with Instructors and Peers?
Contrary to a persistent belief, online courses are not limited to webpages, PDF documents, and video lectures. Many courses deliver content via custom-designed platforms designed to foster interactive communication between the instructor and students as if both were present in a physical classroom. Moreover, some degree programs require an in-person component in which the student is expected to meet with an instructor one or more times over the length of the course. Nursing and Health Care degrees often include such elements. Prior to enrolling, research what instruction methods your online bachelor’s degree favors.
What is the Difference Between Bachelors’ Degree Awarded by a Brick-and-Mortar University and one Awarded by an Online School ?
A Bachelor’s degree awarded by a physical University and one awarded by accredited online schools such as the University of Phoenix carry the same weight. While online schools have garnered increasing respect in the eyes of employers and graduate schools, an important caveat remains. The prospective student should thoroughly investigate the school’s degree requirements. Earning an Online Bachelor’s Degree requirements should include the amount of credit hours required, the courses needed to meet this requirement, and the order in which this course of study should occur. The school’s literature must state clearly these requirements. If degree requirements seem hazy or require payment in advance, this final degree will carry little worth.
Students now have more options than ever in pursuing an online Bachelor’s degree. Virtual universities abound and the options for study are plentiful. Ensure that you “do your homework” prior to committing to pursuing that degree.