Choosing an Online School

Online school options provide students flexibility, but students should research online school choices to make sure they also offer high quality and value. As technology advances, online schooling options expand. An online university provides a broad range of degree programs for working adults who want to fit their college education into the demands of a busy professional and family life.

Things you need to know about online schooling.

Online schooling, like traditional schooling, can be of very high or very poor quality. It can be affordable or costly. The results can be extremely rewarding or disappointing. You can do your homework to ensure you’re choosing the right online school to meet your education needs and dreams. Ask yourself the following questions to choose the right online university for your lifestyle:

Online schools come in different packages. Three types of online schools:

The last question on the list above may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to. Understanding various academic models can help you choose the online university that best fits your lifestyle—but if you, like most non-academics, aren’t familiar with academic models, read below to get a quick description.

The enrollment staff at the online school you are researching should be able to give you talk to you in more detail about the particular model used by that school—and what that might mean for you as a student.

  1. Some online degree programs simply repackage traditional college courses, delivering them over the internet instead of in a classroom. They may require a blend of online learning at specific times and group study on campus. This model offers little flexibility for a student with a busy life.
  2. Some combine online work at a student’s own pace with additional group study (on campus or virtually) at set times. If you want a blend of socialization and have a flexible work schedule, you may consider this type of online university.
  3. Competency-based online schools like Western Governors University (WGU) provide students with 24/7 access to online learning resources and permit students to learn on their own schedule—moving quickly through material when they are able to learn fast or bring previous knowledge and experience to their programs, rather than being forced to move at the pace of the rest of the class or a syllabus’ predefined schedule. In a competency-based program, students advance through their online degree programs as they pass tests and assessments to demonstrate competence in their field of study. In other words, a degree from a competency-based online school is evidence that you know your stuff, and that you’ve had to prove it. And being a student at a competency-based school means you’re in the driver’s seat of your own education.

Choosing the right online school to earn your degree is a crucially important decision. In your quest to build your career and reap the benefits of a better life for you and your family, online schooling that is affordable, flexible, and of high quality can unlock all kinds of doors. If you think WGU might be the online school for you—or if you simply want to ask more questions—an Enrollment Counselor is on hand to help. Inquire online or call1-866-225-5948.

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