If you are looking to achieve your first degree or even a higher degree, you may not be at a point where a traditional school is right for your schedule. Online universities offer the flexibility and the mobility you need in your life. But there are misconceptions about online education, and we are going to share the facts.
Myth: Online schools are not accredited.
Fact: We cannot speak for all online schools, but Western Governors University (WGU) and its state affiliates, like WGU Nevada, are accredited. WGU is accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), a regional accreditation body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. NWCCU provides the accreditation for many other major institutions, such as the University of Washington, University of Oregon, Gonzaga University, University of Utah, University of Idaho, and Brigham Young University, to name just a few.
The quality of online courses is lacking, compared to traditional brick-and-mortar courses.
Fact: The accreditation and recognition speak for itself. In order for a university, online or otherwise, to receive accreditation, the entity must go through a thorough process. In so doing, accreditation bodies are responsible for letting people know what schools receive the thumbs up or the thumbs down in terms of educational quality. WGU Nevada adheres to these rules and procedures to always deliver the best education possible to its students.
Traditional universities are joining the online train as well. According to Price Economics in 2016, “Among top-ranked schools, nearly 75% offer online degrees, and about half are increasing their online degree offerings. The fastest adopters of online learning include both public and private colleges and universities, including some academic heavyweights like Harvard and Johns Hopkins.” Even traditional universities see the merit in online offerings because there is value.
Myth: Online schools make it impossible to meet with an instructor.
Fact: At WGU Nevada, each student is personally assigned a Program Mentor. The role of the Program Mentor is to provide program instruction, coaching, and support from the moment an individual becomes a student to the time he or she graduates. This ensures each student receives the hands-on attention needed to help graduates excel once they leave the university. Having a mentor in college is linked to academic success, and even predicts well-being later in life according to an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education. Research from the Gallup-Purdue Index, which has conducted national polling and examined alumni outcomes for more than 100 colleges, shows that the college that performed best on this measure was in fact WGU. “Sixty-nine percent of [WGU’s] recent graduates indicated they’d had a mentor in college — more than double the share of young alumni nationally, according to Gallup polling,” said The Chronicle of Higher Education article.
Myth: If you are not a technology expert, you will not make it through an online program.
Fact: Although online schooling happens on a computer, you are not required to be a technology wizard. Simple understanding of navigating the internet and learning how to use your university’s portal are required, but your mentor can help you if you have questions.
Online universities are not going away, in fact, they are thriving. With a go, go, go attitude, people need a university schedule that allows them to work and be involved in their communities. The key is finding the school that is right for you and your needs.