Distance Education Guide

The GetEducated.com distance learning online guide provides a comprehensive articles about long distance learning to get you started off right.


Online High School Diploma Programs for Adults

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Students drop out of high school for many different reasons. Some students have to leave high school to start work because of their families’ financial needs. Others have trouble attending a traditional school schedule due to health issues. Some students struggle academically and may not receive the support they need to succeed. Others simply don’t see the value of education at that point in their lives. A 2015 study from the National Center for Education Statistics reported that in 2012, 2.6 million 16-24 year olds in the US had not earned a high school diploma or equivalency.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average annual income of a high school dropout is $10,386 less than a high school graduate and $36,424 less than a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree. A 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics also reports high school dropouts as having the highest rate of unemployment at 7.7% compared to 5.3% for high school graduates and only 2.5% for college graduates. And if those numbers aren’t motivation enough to pursue an accredited high school diploma, studies also show that high school dropouts have a poverty rate of 30.8% and a 63 times higher incarceration rate!

Find out more about getting your high school diploma online

How to Choose a Major When You're Going to School Online

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Pursuing a college degree is no easy feat for any student—a college degree symbolizes a fork in the road. It is an opportunity that, regardless of a student’s background, may sometimes be intimidating. Most students want to ensure that they get a promising start to their college careers by picking the correct major from the very beginning, a task that is sometimes easier said than done.

A great way to start is to ask yourself some questions, like:

  • What type of program is best for my personal lifestyle? Full-time or part-time? 100% online or hybrid (on-campus & online)?
  • What do I like to spend my time doing?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What types of careers can I see myself in?
  • How much education do I want or need to accomplish my career goals?
Find out more about choosing a major


Top Adult Degree Programs for Fast & Flexible Education

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Our national economy has taken a beating in the past half decade leaving many adults re-evaluating their job skills and career path. Although the economy is recovering, many people are still concerned about stagnant salaries and a lack of well paying jobs and many adults are tackling a career change to take advantage of better opportunities. Fast track programs, which allow working adults to quickly acquire new skills, are often the key to quick career advancements and lay the groundwork for a better future.

Almost 40% of postsecondary students are adult learners. Of all adult learners, 54% between the ages of 25 and 29, and 34% over the age of 39 are full-time students. Therefore, a significant number are also completing their education taking part-time courses allowed in flexible online degree programs.

As demand rises, more and more institutions are creating programs that accommodate the lifestyle requirements of adult students.

Find out more about fast adult degree programs


How Do Online University Instructors Use Online Classes Technology?

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About 40 percent of full-time U.S. college faculty have taught a course at an online university school.

That's just one result from a new in-depth survey of traditional and online classes technology usage compiled by Primary Research Group. "The Survey of Higher Education Faculty: Use of Educational Technology" includes the results of a survey of more than 550 higher education faculty in the U.S. and Canada. Results were released in January 2010. 

Some key findings:

• More than half—53 percent—of those sampled said they would like to be an online university instructor if the pay were equivalent to that of a traditional class setting. 
Find out more about online university technology


What is Hybrid or Blended E Learning?

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Distance higher education started out as a way for older, non-traditional students with access issues to receive instruction.
But, beginning in the late 1990s, younger students—call them the “Instant Education Generation”—unexpectedly began embracing online university learning.
Read more about hybrid and blended education


How Popular and Prevalent is Distance College Education?

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By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Distance college education is booming, with no signs of slowing down.
According to the Sloan Foundation’s 2009 report, Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009, online distance course registrations at colleges have continued to grow much faster than residential or campus enrollments — up 17 percent from 2007 to 2008 alone.
Read more about the prevalence of online education


Who Uses Distance Higher Education?

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By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Today's distance learners, using computers and high-speed transmission lines to virtually connect with professors and other students from around the world, owe a debt of gratitude to the farmers of the past.
That's because the development of distance higher education came about as a way to give rural learners better access to higher education. 

That's right - distance learning has a long history. In fact, college level distance education in the USA is more than 100 years old.  What's new about distance learning is not the idea, but the type of student it serves and the number and type of higher education institutions that are using it to reach new types of students. 
Read more about who uses online education today


What is Distance Higher Education?

Online Education Articles  >  Distance Education Guide
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Distance higher education is any learning that takes place with the instructor and student being geographically remote from each other. Distance education may occur by surface mail, videotape, interactive TV, radio, satellite, or any number of Internet technologies such as message boards, chat rooms and desktop computer conferencing.
Online education delivered over the Internet is one form of distance learning.
Read more about distance learning


Online State Colleges and Universities Degree Programs

Online Education Articles  >  Distance Education Guide
By Vicky Phillips   
Going to a public state college online for your degree offers numerous benefits. Online state colleges and universities provide high-quality distance learning degrees at low rates. Plus, state colleges have brand names that enjoy a high level of familiarity and trust with local employers.
Online degree programs from state colleges are subject to the same accreditation standards that apply to residential degrees. State universities receive government funding. This helps them offer degrees at a lower cost than their private university peers.
Offering online degrees helps state universities educate the public while minimizing the high costs often associated with building new brick-and-mortar campuses. Online courses cost less to run than traditional courses, both in terms of a physical classroom space and tenured faculty costs.

If you're interested in finding a low-cost online degree, view our Get Educated Cost Rankings. Many of the most affordable degrees online are offered by traditional state universities. Tuition rates are typically lowest for state residents, but some schools give online students a reduced rate, regardless of their home state.

To find a state college online in your major area, use the Get Educated online degree search tools.


Online Community Colleges List

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Community colleges offer the best deals in online associate degrees if cost concerns you. Online community colleges, which are funded by your tax dollars, are dedicated to providing work training, continuing education and online certificates in hot careers such as health care, medical coding and records, legal assisting, and computer programming. 

State residents typically pay the lowest tuition for online courses, though some states also allow non-residents to enroll in classes online at a reduced rate. 

Cost can be as low as $75 per credit -- often two to three times cheaper than online associate degrees and certificates offered by private two-year college systems. 

See complete list for online community colleges and associates degrees


Online Christian Universities: How to Choose an Online College

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By GetEducated Consumer Reporting Team   
Nun on Computer Teaches at Online Christian Universities

Online Christian universities are growing fast. In fact, two schools—Liberty University and Grand Canyon University—are among the 10 largest universities in online-only enrollment.

But before you take a leap of faith online—or turn up your nose at the very idea of an online degree from a faith-based college—you need to understand that there are two very different types of online Christian universities and colleges. Our team of researchers break down these two types and help you determine the right one for you.

Compare online Christian and Catholic schools


Online Master's Degree No GRE

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By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Online Masters Degree No GRE Means No Studying

Graduate schools often require students to take admission tests. The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is the most commonly required test. The MAT (Miller Analogies Test) is another. Preparing for these tests can be time consuming—and expensive.

Fortunately, most accredited online master's degree programs do not require the GRE.

In fact, a 2010 national study by Get Educated revealed that among 1,300+ accredited online master's degree programs, the majority—932 programs—require no GRE exam. 

Graduate students who want to avoid the GRE or MAT should compare online master's programs carefully. It is possible to find a high quality distance learning program that does not require the GRE or a related admission test.

Can you get an online masters degree without an admission test?


Accelerated Online Bachelor Degree Programs: Pros & Cons

Online Education Articles  >  Distance Education Guide
By Vicky Phillips, Chief Education Analyst   
Student Studies for Accelerated Online Bachelor Degree

Students love accelerated online degree programs.

Accelerated programs consist of short online classes. A traditional college course lasts 16 weeks, but an accelerated bachelor's program compresses courses into shorter five-, eight- or 10-week sessions.

You literally earn your degree faster by studying faster.

You take just as many courses to complete an accelerated bachelor's degree as a traditional degree. But you learn faster in an effort to accelerate degree completion.

Are accelerated online degrees right for you? Compare the pros and cons of accelerated online degrees.


Online Education Articles  >  Distance Education Guide

I’ve always enjoyed learning. If there’s something new worth knowing I enjoy the challenge of picking up that new knowledge. That’s why, as I graduated with my online Masters in Information Systems last year through a distance learning program from Dakota State University, my first thought was: “What can I learn next?”

After I finished my masters in information systems degree online I was planning on another masters degree, probably an online MBA. However, because that plan originated when I’d just begun online learning in 2006, several new online graduate degree options now existed for me to consider. Could I go further than a masters degree? Could an online PhD be an option for me?

Amazingly enough… it seemed like it actually could! In the last several years distance education offerings across the United States have exploded. As of 2011, there are literally over one hundred online PhD programs; degrees ranging from an online Doctoral of Public Administration at Valdosta State University to an online PhD in Financial Planning from Kansas State University.

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