Earning a Degree in Almost any Discipline is Easier Than Ever Online
Adult learners are busy with families and jobs, and as the economy threatens to crumble around them the option of retraining through online education is very attractive.
In this age of information instantly available at the click of the mouse, it only makes sense that education is turning more and more to the Internet to deliver quality content to students who are otherwise too busy to attend classes in traditional, ivy-covered halls. The adult learners of today are those who are already in the workforce, but not sure of the security of their jobs. Being a part of the community of essay writers, I know that employees understand the need to retrain in preparation for what may be an inevitable consequence of the turbulent economy. They are also too enmeshed in their lives with their families and current jobs to take the time to drive to a campus and attend class several times a week.
Learning over distance is not a new concept at all. In Biblical times, the prophets and teachers would lecture the crowds on the scriptures, and the learned among them would write down the “lecture notes” in the form of letters. Those letters were then sent out to the far-reaching areas of the known world where other learned ones would read them to the masses.
In more modern times, correspondence courses were taught through the mail system as early as 1728 when Caleb Phillips taught shorthand by mailing weekly lessons from his school in Boston to students all across the country.
Today, the adult learner looking to change career directions or simply re-train in his or her current specialty can find an online degree program in just about any discipline imaginable. Finding the right college and degree program can be somewhat daunting, but the Internet has made it even that much easier. There are many sites dedicated to researching online degree programs and colleges.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of academically sound educational programs available online and the astute adult learner will be able to find credible schools offering current content in a setting that is not only convenient but conducive to learning. That setting can be wherever the learner has a computer and access to the Internet.
Learning online is generally an asynchronous activity, meaning that the learner and the instructor are not necessarily online at the same time, but the interaction is just as rich, if not richer, than in a more traditional, synchronous mode.
Content delivered in an online environment is apt to be much more relevant and up to date than content found in textbooks that are typically out of date by the time they are published. Internet-based course content is by its very nature going to be the most current information, which in turn will mean more to the adult learner and be more relevant to his or her career goals. Online schools offer courses in so many disciplines now that an adult learner can find current information to enhance his or her skills without leaving the comfort of home or office.
Educational accrediting agencies have, over the past several years, changed their perspectives on online education, adding criteria to the accrediting process that looks at online learning as a rigorous, academically sound method of earning a degree. Schools that list agencies like the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC), or the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) as the agency that assures the school meets the standards set by them are sure to have solid academic programs.
There are many other accrediting agencies, both regional and national, which scrutinize the curriculum to be sure it is rigorous. Anyone looking at an online program should examine the accrediting agency listed by the school.
Technology has gone so far in recent years; it can be said that the Internet makes earning a degree much easier than ever before. That does not mean the online courses will be easy, just because they are online, but it makes the process of learning much more convenient and accessible. A degree can be earned in small bits of time throughout the day. Access to an online course is 24/7, which makes learning something continuous, and not just something that takes place once or twice a week for an hour or two. Online learning is relevant, up to date, and accessible. Online learning is not a fad, nor is it the wave of the future. It is here today and here to stay.