Online Education: A Growing Trend
When I graduated high school in 2004, learning a course online was almost nonexistent. The traditional college endeavor required physical presence and extra costs for room and board. The idea of going off on your own was exciting and new. However, Act Educational Services published a statistic in 2004 that stated only 70 percent of college freshman continued on to their sophomore year. Perhaps the reasoning behind this is a lack of attending classes or students unable to grasp the course material. Over the years, high education has changed. Online courses are now an option at most major universities. Could this be the way of the future?
U.S. News released an article last year reporting over 6.3 million college students took at least one online course in the fall of 2016. The information reported from the Babson Survey Research Group provided statistics proving that online education had risen for the fourteenth consecutive year. Public universities saw a 7.3 percent increase in online education, while private non-profit schools saw a 7.1 percent increase in enrollment for online courses. These numbers show a significant trend in students choosing to further their education via computers as opposed to sitting in an actual classroom.
As an online student myself, the benefits of learning through an educational portal are obvious. I am a non-traditional student. I am a thirty-two-year-old mother and wife, who always wanted to finish my Bachelor’s Degree. Finding the time to attend classes with my busy schedule was always impossible. Not to mention the colleges close to me offer a few degrees that interested me. It thrilled me to find several colleges that offered a full degree online. The quality of high education without the hassle of time constraints. Flexibility and accessibility at my fingertips. Even more traditional students can benefit from the change in education. Online classes mean you can save money by not having to pay for room and board. You can live in Pennsylvania and get your education in New Hampshire. The possibilities are endless.
As exciting as these new opportunities are, it is important to beware of for-profit online schools, such as the University of Phoenix. These schools have faced criticism in the past for low graduation rates and shady recruiting practices. These schools may not have their students’ best interests at heart. It is also important to choose a school that has a solid reputation as employers can make decisions based on what university is on your resume. Accreditation is also a key factor when choosing an online school.
Still, it looks as though colleges are moving forward with current technology. The future of education is bright. If you are looking to get that Bachelor’s Degree, or perhaps a Master’s degree, please look into online education. I recommend Southern New Hampshire University. This university, which also has a physical campus in New Hampshire, offers one hundred and fifty online degrees. They are an accredited non-profit, which means all money made goes right back into the school. If that doesn’t interest you, check out your local universities and colleges. Chances are most are offering online courses, if not a fully online degree.