Online Colleges and Distance Learning

Online colleges are still pretty new in the grand scheme of things.  Founded around 1996, online colleges are classified as “Distance Learning” or “Distance Education” which can be loosly described as learning without being physically “on site”, or in a classroom. 

Advantages of Online Colleges

The obvious appeal for online colleges or distance learning is the convenience of not having to leave your home, office or wherever you have internet access.  The vast majority, if not all, of the coursework and assignments are competed on the computer.  Some courses are designed to move at the pace of a regular class that meets 1, 3 or 5 days a week.  Others move at your pace and basically you complete a course on your own time.  There aren’t deadlines that have to be met like a traditional classroom setting. 

Also, for students that are wheelchair-bound or have a difficult time getting around, online colleges could be a great way to continue your education!

Disadvantages of Online Colleges

Taking classes in the comfort of your own home sounds great, right?  Well there are some drawbacks.  The first and maybe the most important is that there is very little interaction with an actual instructor.  Much of the material is self-taught through the lessons and while for some this is no problem, other students may struggle without support or direct instruction.  The other drawback that we are seeing is that many “online degrees” are not competitive with a degree earned at a traditional college or university.  This is not always the case, but many employers would rather see a potential employee with a “real world” degree, rather than something earned online.

Don’t take that the wrong way!  There are some great programs online and many online colleges do a very good job with their students.  Take the University of Phoenix for instance.  They have over 200,000 current students and have forcast that to be over a half million in the very near future!  They have to be doing something right to have those kind of numbers and growth in enrollment.

If you’re interested in finding an online college, College Quest is a great place to start!…and it’s 100% FREE!…