Education has taken an internet shift over the last few years. College classes used to require driving to the local campus, sitting through lengthy lectures, and taking hard copy exams. This model of education made it difficult to carry a full time job or raise a family in conjunction with obtaining a degree. What started out as a couple of online courses has expanded to entire online degree programs. These online programs offer many advantages to the non traditional student.
Ability to learn when schedule permits
Attending a college program full time can be extremely difficult to handle, especially if you have a family or a full time job. Approximately 68% of students study at home because of the ability to balance work, family, and social responsibilities more easily. The majority of classes simply have deadlines for work and discussions, rather than requiring students to attend lectures at a specified time. This level of convenience has allowed more adults to return for their degrees.
Ability to gear classes around professional needs
Not every career requires a degree. However, there are classes available that can increase job skills and encourage job promotions. About 63% of those who are working (or 36% of all adults) are what we call professional learners. This means that they have taken a course or gotten additional training in the past 12 months to improve their job skills or expertise connected to career advancement. Home learning programs not only allows them to fit these courses into their already busy schedules, but also allows them to choose classes specifically geared toward their professional development.
Meets many different student learning trends
Different students learn in different ways. While one student may absorb knowledge better through lectures, another student may prefer hands on activities. The problem with traditional college programs is that they tend to be set up only for lecture learners. Students are expected to sit and listen to a professor lecture, sometimes for hours on end. Home learning, instead, gives students different opportunities to grasp the material. They can usually choose from online lectures, hands on activities, or discussion boards. Each of these teaching methods contributes to the different learning styles.
Location is no longer a factor
In the past, students had to choose a college based on location. If funds were limited, they had to choose a local college. If they wanted a new adventure, they could choose something out of state, but they would have to move into a student dormitory. They might even be forced to choose a secondary school, simply because they did not have the means to move. If a student had family or other home responsibilities, these would also factor into the location decision. With online colleges, you can now take college courses from your favorite school, in the comfort of your own home.
Approximately 64% of online students love the ability to study anytime, anywhere, at their own convenience. This academic convenience also allows students to travel for pleasure or business on their own schedules, not having to worry about missing important lectures. Even those serving in other countries have the ability to further their education, while stationed in another country.
Reduced college expenses
College can be extremely expensive. Tuition rates are high and you also have to factor in room and board, transportation costs, and meals. In fact, many graduates are currently in debt from high student loan bills. Online college programs can cut these costs by allowing students to live at home, or in a more affordable living situation. They can also cut out the costs of transportation. Some students may even receive discounted course classes.
The internet and technology has made it possible to complete an entire college degree electronically. More and more students are moving toward an online degree for the advantages it offers. Students attending an online college are likely to pay less, are able to hold full time jobs and raise families, and find a learning style that best fits their educational needs.