Two organizations oversee the accreditation process and officially recognize accrediting agencies: the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a nongovernmental organization. Both the Department of Education and CHEA maintain exhaustive lists of all recognized regional, national, and programmatic accrediting agencies. These organizations also list the accreditation status of each participating school, including the best regionally accredited online colleges and universities. Students comparing colleges and universities should check both lists to ensure a recognized agency has evaluated the school they select.
Although enrollment in online degree programs has continued to tick upwards during the past decade, it has recently slowed in the past few years. However, both public and private not-for-profit colleges and universities continue to experience respectable increases. From 2012 - 2013, research from the Babson Institute shows that enrollment in online classes rose nearly 5 percent at public institutions and almost 13 percent for private nonprofits. Here’s a closer look at the growth numbers by volume for online learners by institution type in 2013.
Business card holder: your graduate might be working for a non-profit or for corporate America. Either way, they'll probably have business cards they'll want to hand out at conferences, meetings, and other business events. Consider buying a small, nice, classic business card holder—some can even be personalized—as an inexpensive but highly useful graduation present.
SAGU online courses are relatively small, allowing students to receive individualized attention from faculty members. As part of the school's Experiential Learning Credit program, students may qualify for up to 45 undergraduate credits -- and save as much as $25,000 on their degree -- by completing a three-credit course. Admission requires each student to provide a statement of Christian faith.
*PBV: is a proprietary metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or similar) cost. In short, the PBV calculation denotes the overall value – or 'bang for your buck' – of an online degree.
In March 1906, the Kentucky General Assembly approved the establishment of the Bowling Green school that was to become Western Kentucky University. Today, more than 100 majors lead to the baccalaureate degree, and students can choose from 111 academic minors. U.S. News and World Report has ranked WKU 12th in The Best Online Bachelor's Programs and 12th in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs . Among the best online schools in the region, WKU offers 20 online undergraduate degrees, 30 wholly online master's degrees, and online 45 graduate/undergraduate certificates. Students may also enroll in one of more than 100 courses offered through the on-demand program that offers for-credit classes in 7-week semesters.
Although online learning has removed many time and place barriers, it’s important to see which colleges in your state offer online programs. Attending a local college or university with online programs makes it easier to take advantage of physical resources or, if necessary, enroll in a hybrid program. Select a state below to learn more about its online learning landscape.
The University of Arizona Online offers multiple bachelor's programs for distance learners. Students pursuing technical careers can choose degrees in STEM fields such as cyber operations, geographic information systems technology, network operations, and meteorology. Options for those seeking a liberal arts education include bachelor's degrees in Africana studies, economy and industry, public health, and sustainable built environments. The university also offers 31 online master's degrees and six online nursing doctorates.
College tuition is getting more expensive, which puts a lot of stress on prospective students, but these free online colleges and degree programs are eliminating the stress for some students. There are many reputable — and even prestigious — schools that offer a tuition-free college education to students, but the schools we’ve listed below have free tuition that doesn’t require a work program so they are truly free colleges and online degree programs.
Principals must also complete a principal preparation program or internship to develop their leadership skills and their knowledge of how to improve students' educational experiences. Other requirements often include passing an exam to demonstrate basic reading, writing, and math skills; passing a state-based educator standards exam; and submitting to a criminal background check. Some states have different levels of principal certification, starting with an initial "residency certificate" and advancing to a "professional certificate" after two years of experience as an employed administrator. Some states break down their certifications even further for elementary vs. secondary school principals, while other states have the same requirements for both academic levels.
Fort Hays State University has established itself as one of the best online colleges, largely due to their affordability and quality of education. Each program is designed to give students the knowledge they need to enter the global community as a leader and expert. This can be seen with their online bachelor’s degrees, all of which are fully accredited. Popular bachelor’s degree options include criminal justice, elementary education and accounting. Along with their bachelor’s degrees, Fort Hays also has extensive master’s degree programs that give students the experience and knowledge they need to make a leap in their career. The best online schools are the ones that prepare students for their future, and Fort Hays does just that.
The school also offers bridge programs that enable students to earn a bachelor's and master's in the same field on an accelerated timeline. Ottawa University's generous transfer policy allows students to apply up to 80 previously earned credits toward their undergraduate degrees. Instructors deliver all courses fully online, asynchronously, and in timeframes that span eight weeks.
Appalachian State offers a hybrid Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education, with some courses offered online and some requiring an on-campus presence. This is a degree completion program, requiring at least 30 college credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. The degree covers grades 6-8. The major has three concentrations: language arts and science, language arts and social studies, and science and social studies. The curriculum combines liberal arts and teaching content and skills. The program can lead to licensure in North Carolina. Segments of the program require practicums on campus, and student teaching must be done in-state. Courses include Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age and Language Arts in the Middle Grades. In-state tuition is $143 per credit and $643.50 per credit for nonresidents.
Midway University, founded in 1847 by Dr. Lewis L. Pinkerton, was one of the nation's first schools to serve disadvantaged or orphaned women. Today, the coeducational Midway offers its 1,005 students over 30 academic majors in many of the region's top-demand fields of business, teacher education, nursing/healthcare, and equine studies. For distance education, Midway is among the best online colleges in the region. Students can earn their associate degree online, one of more than 20 baccalaureate degrees, or a 100-percent-online MBA, M.Ed., or MSN graduate degree. Online options for a bachelor's degree in education include more than 12 areas of specialization. Midway's Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program may grant course credits for online students based on their work experience or career preparation outside the classroom.
Educational administrators are the leaders of schools, colleges, and other types of educational organizations. They are the leaders and guides in the educational field, either working intimately with students or with the larger community. School administrators work at state and federal levels and help develop state policies that affect education. Administrators can also be school superintendents, principals, or principal support staff.
As the oldest college in the state of Mississippi, Mississippi College is well aware of how challenging and busy life can be for students, especially adult learners. To help with this, they've crafted one of the best online schools in the state of Mississippi. The degree programs at their online school are available to students around the world, not just those who live in-state or in the country. As long as students have access to the internet, they can learn wherever, whenever they please. MC does offer some undergraduate degrees online, but their master's degree programs are the most popular. Many students choose to study toward a master's degree in education, communication or business administration with different focuses being available for all three.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the primary programmatic accrediting body for education degrees. Accreditation is very important for online education degrees, especially for students looking to earn a teaching license. Prospective students should make sure that the online programs they are considering are recognized by the teaching board in the state where they hope to earn licensure.
If you plan to embark on one of the highest paying careers out of college, listed below, you could potentially earn six figures soon after completing your bachelor’s degree. Unsurprisingly, the majority of careers on this list fall under the STEM category. In terms of financial security, engineering majors boast perhaps the brightest future of all, but individuals aspiring toward scientific endeavors and technology careers also appear well-represented. Common attributes of these high-earning professionals include leadership and management skills, advanced mathematical, technical, or engineering knowledge, and high-level researching abilities. While many of the 25 highest paying careers for college graduates allow for entry-level work fresh off of an undergraduate program, some may require graduate or postgraduate education to get your foot in the industry door.
The courses in the master’s program depend on the type of training the student is seeking. Some programs are entry-level degrees, aimed at individuals with no previous teaching experience. These programs cover the theory of education and instructional techniques for a particular grade level or subject. These degrees also include teaching practicums and internships that help students master hands-on teaching skills. Other master's degrees are aimed at current teachers who want to deepen their understanding of a particular subject area or gain leadership skills. These programs may focus in areas like special education, technology in education, reading and literature, or curriculum and instruction.
Finding the right online learning opportunity may seem challenging. Whether new to distance learning or a seasoned veteran, it's important to identify the situation that meets your education, professional and financial needs. One starting point is to research and review a ranking of top online colleges. Browsing schools with demonstrated online learning excellence can give students a great place to start.
What is today's University of Louisiana at Monroe opened its doors in 1931 as Ouachita Parish Junior College. It has since become the largest university in North Louisiana with 9,700 students taking campus-based and online courses. eULM, the university's distance education division, has been ranked as Louisiana's "Best Online College," now offering more than 30 online degree programs. Online students can complete a 63-hour Associate of General Studies (AGS), one of 14 bachelor programs of 120-125 hours, one of 24 master's degree programs of 30-39 credit hours, or a 60-hour online doctorate in education or philosophy (marriage and family therapy). Online students gain virtual access to ULM's faculty, advisors, and admissions counselors.
Sammi Caramela has always loved words. When she isn't working as a Business.com and Business News Daily staff writer, she's writing (and furiously editing) her first novel, reading a YA book with a third cup of coffee, or attending local pop-punk concerts. Sammi loves hearing from readers - so don't hesitate to reach out! Check out her short stories in Night Light: Haunted Tales of Terror, which is sold on Amazon.
The most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics reveals that approximately 2.6 million college students enrolled in fully online degree programs, while more than 5.5 million students were taking at least one online class. In 2013, according to AASCU, 65 percent of online students attended a nonprofit college and of those students, 45 percent attended public colleges and 20 percent attended private nonprofit institutions.
Northern Arizona University offers two pathways for distance learners: traditional online or competency-based online programs. Traditional online degrees mirror brick-and-mortar bachelor's programs in terms of course and credit requirements. Traditional online bachelor's options include specialized fields such as hotel and restaurant management, parks and recreation management, and 10 fields related to health professions. The school also makes 21 master's degrees and a doctorate in nursing practice available in the traditional online format.
Three types of accreditation are awarded in the U.S. The first two types, regional and national, are institutional accreditations bestowed on the college or university as a whole. Regional accreditation is typically reserved for nonprofit schools that offer degrees in the liberal arts and sciences. A total of seven regional accrediting agencies evaluate schools in all 50 states and U.S. territories. National accreditation, on the other hand, is generally offered to for-profit schools, vocational learning centers, and religious institutions. A total of 10 national accrediting agencies — including the Distance Education Accrediting Commission — assess schools nationwide.
The cost of a college degree can vary wildly as well. It's no secret that tuition prices have skyrocketed in the last few decades. Online degrees aren't necessarily cheaper than traditional on-campus degree programs, but choosing an online degree program can save you money in commuting costs and materials, and most importantly, give you the flexibility to work while you earn your degree more easily than if you had to take classes in-person.
Considered the oldest and largest online degree-providing institution in the state, Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers web-based programs at all degree levels. Bachelor's options include degrees in fields such as addiction studies, business administration, and social work; the psychology and unified public safety administration fields offer multiple concentrations.
To a certain degree, online degrees have had a persistent stigma—a reputation that they are not on-par with those earned on-campus. However, the tide seems to be shifting because non-profit colleges (both private and public) have created online programs that rival those traditional degrees. In fact, a recent study shows that 76 percent of academic leaders agree that degrees taught online are equal to their on-campus counterparts.
Duke University is a private research university that is based in Durham North Carolina. Though Duke now has a campus including 254 buildings spanning 8,691 acres, it began in one building in the year 1838, a private subscription school called Brown’s Schoolhouse. It has also grown to serve more than 16,000 students from every corner of the world. The university has ranked among the top 10 in America in publications such as Forbes and U.S. News & World Report.
Life’s circumstances can interrupt even the most dedicated of students. There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing all the work that goes into earning a degree and everyone should experience that at least once in their lifetime. Earning a degree may also make your family members proud of you in a way you’ve never experienced before. So if a part of you has always wanted to finish what you started, earning an online undergraduate degree may allow you the flexibility to finish this goal without putting other parts of your life on pause.
A wide range of healthcare related degrees are available online, including programs in nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, personal training, public health, respiratory therapy, healthcare administration and medical and dental assisting. These online degree programs prepare students interested promoting health and wellness to ensure others maintain healthy lives. Careers in healthcare vary from hands-on positions, like working as a dental assistant, to more administrative positions, such as working behind the scenes to provide others with exceptional care. Online degrees in healthcare related fields are available at all levels, with a variety of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate degrees to choose from.
Founded in 1890, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus serves more than 35,000 at its main campus in Stillwater, online through OCampus, at campus locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and the OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee. Popular majors include agriculture operations; business (management and marketing); biological and biomedical sciences; and engineering. OSU also serves distance students as one of the best online colleges in the region, with more than 32 online degree programs leading to baccalaureate and master's degrees through OCampus. Certificate students can select among 10 online programs in the fields of business, engineering, finance, and online teaching.
Some online courses are self-paced, or asynchronous. In this format, students may complete their assigned readings and lectures, in addition to exams, on their own timetable — though some asynchronous courses may require weekly check-ins. Courses that are synchronous, or not self-paced, typically mirror the weekly assignment format of campus-based courses. Good online colleges offer a mix of asynchronous and synchronous pathways to accommodate students with different preferences and schedule restrictions.
As widespread acceptance of online education surges among nonprofit institutions, we predict that the number of accredited online colleges – and their quality – will increase. This rapid growth can make choosing an online college feel intimidating. To develop a short list of options that make sense for you and your goals, you need to compare a wide range of components, such as accreditation, tuition and fees, support services, faculty, and career preparation.
On-campus housing is typically much more expensive than a rented apartment or a living space shared with roommates off campus. However, monthly rent payments, utility bills, food, and other weekly expenses can also add up — especially in areas where the cost of living is higher. Additionally, online students need access to a strong Wi-Fi connection; this usually requires an account with a local internet provider. Be sure to perform a comprehensive calculation of expected costs for living on and off campus in order to determine which option is cheaper.
While Wayland Baptist University was founded with Baptist roots, the school has grown into a large university that offers plenty of different degree options for students. One of the options offered by Wayland Baptist is their online program, designed to give students the flexibility to study at their own pace. Most students that choose to study through the online school are studying toward a master's degree. Wayland Baptist is considered one of the best schools in the nation to earn a master's degree in fields like divinity and Christian ministry, two popular options for online students. Aside from graduate degrees, Wayland Baptist also offers undergraduate degrees through their online school.
Brown University offers free tuition through its commitment to meet 100% of the demonstrated financial need of all students. Beginning in 2018, the university has replaced all its financial aid with free scholarships that do not have to be repaid. Going back even farther, though, the university has been offering free tuition for a decade. If a family has total earnings of less than $60,000 per year, the university does not require any financial contribution from the student, meaning the tuition is free. Additionally, if a family makes over that limit but does not exceed $100,000 each year, the university offers generous grants to help cover the cost of attendance.
Online degree programs at Columbia University are currently available through just one of its schools, the School of Engineering & Applied Science. Classes in the programs are taught by the same expert faculty that conducts the courses on campus, so students can get the full Ivy League experience from the comfort of their own homes. The university boasts a range of masters programs, certificate programs, and non-degree learning opportunities in the following fields: Operations Research, Methods in Finance, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering & Management Systems, and Materials Science. All of the programs are provided on a part-time basis and will require no on-campus meetings.
Certificates are available online for students at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Online certificates can serve as a supplement to a degree, or as a standalone qualification. There are over 5,000 online certificate programs to choose from, many leading to job opportunities as physical therapy assistants, occupational therapy assistants, dental assistants, and veterinary technicians.
Many students find that the best online colleges are the ones that allow them to study at their own pace – even if that means completing a degree faster than normal. Concordia University, Wisconsin does just that with their accelerated learning programs, allowing online students to study at a faster pace. For students who have a busy schedule and prefer to study at a more traditional pace, there are over 50 different online degree options offered by Concordia. Concordia is also one of the best online schools in terms of transferring credits, including military and work-related experience. Students can study toward a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or, in some instances both, such as with the RN to MSN program that accelerates nurses to a master’s degree.
This fun grad party idea is a true celebration of the graduate and the party décor will revolve around him or her, just like it should. Print and show off old photos and make a timeline from when the grad was younger until now. Set up a table at the party with old diplomas or accomplishments and also the grad’s college diploma. What a fun look back on everything your special young scholar has accomplished. Not to mention, your guests will get to enjoy looking back on just how far the grad has come.
Online associate degrees typically can be completed in two years and are available for a variety of programs. Graduates of an associate degree program will often be more competitive in the job market, especially in technical and vocational fields, compared to those with only a high school diploma or GED. Online associate degrees are also a solid stepping stone for those looking to continue on to more advanced degrees.
One of the main reasons that you might be considering an online college is because it frees you up from having to visit a campus, meaning you could attend college anywhere, regardless of where you live or work. This is absolutely true, and it means that you can consider colleges and online degree programs that wouldn't be available to you if you had to attend traditional in-person classes.
In materials science and engineering occupations, professionals concern themselves with the atomic level makeup of final products and materials used in manufacturing. They study the properties and structures of, as well as interactions between, various substances, including metals, plastics, and composites, in order to solve problems and develop new or improved products which meet certain mechanical, electrical, or chemical requirements. Materials scientists and engineers may specialize in one type of material or substance. Daily tasks typically involve working with a team to complete complex planning, research, laboratory experiments, and composition of written data and reports.
The University of Alabama is the oldest and largest public degree-granting institution in the state, and the school's Bama by Distance platform offers online degree options. Online undergraduates can select from eight degrees in human environmental sciences fields, such as food and nutrition, early childhood education, consumer sciences, and hospitality management.