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Originally Posted By: Kristin Davis
What do you think the best online colleges are? I'm thinking of getting my Masters but there are so many choices.

I haven't looked into the others some have mentioned, but I do know that Phoenix University is now accredited and is eligible for FAFSA Federal Student Loan funds. This for some may be a determining factor in "best."


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My math teacher didn't get her Masters online so no help there. Just make sure which ever school you choose is accredited.


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Originally Posted By: Kristin Davis
What do you think the best online colleges are? I'm thinking of getting my Masters but there are so many choices.


I got my MLIS (masters of library science) from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. My process was:

1. Picked the area I was interested in.
2. Checked the "governing body" which in my case was the American Library Association for schools they accredited.
3. Checked out the programs that were online, for the amount of courses offered online in a given semester, the variety of courses, called the school and got names of students I could talk to (they actually took my name and asked some students to contact me-privacy reasons).
4. For me, it was important the online program had a bricks and mortar school attached, that might not be important to you. I just wanted the comfort that they had been around awhile and sort of knew what they were doing.
5. Investigated whether or not you have to visit the program periodically. If I had to go to a physical location periodically, and that place was a plane flight away, that might be a problem.

I chose a program that had a physical location and was accredited and had an online program that was not new.

The reality was that the program required more work than a program that was physically based, because the professors needed a lot of writing to get to know you and judge the quality of your work. As it turned out I loved it, I don't love being lectured and would rather read to get my information. I also interned at two libraries in my area, which allowed me to network locally, and get face to face time with professionals in my field.

Good luck with whatever you decide.


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You made some great points Marge. It is important to check with the governing body of the career field you are interested in or with employers you are interested in working for to find out what their requirements are. Find a school that offers your program and then check out the criteria that are most important to you such as variety of courses offered, costs, whether travel is involved etc. It was also an excellent idea to check with some of the students to find out how they feel about the school.It is a difficult and very important decision so it is best to spend time checking out all the factors which matter to you before you commit to a program.


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Online colleges are where you can study online, at any place and any time. Online education is so flexible and convenient.

Last edited by BellaOnline; 03/08/10 09:02 PM.
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I am not sure were you live but the Masters in Online Education from California State University at East Bay is a great 10 course masters that you can apply to any field. I recommend that you check you state schools and see if your area of study is available there. Many state universities are adding online programs and these diplomas are as respected as equal to the face-to-face programs from these schools.

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Yes definitely it seems like we are no longer in the era where you have to pick and choose from only a few online options. Now it seems that many regular brick-and-mortar colleges have online options. So now it is more that you search in your field, find the best colleges for the degree you want, and then see which are online too!


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I'd like to second the notion that a wealth of opportunities are available for online learning at traditional institutions. Additionally, there are significant advantages to looking that direction: most research institutions actually charge LESS per credit hour than the for profits out there like Phoenix, Capella, Walden, etc., many of the for-profits are accredited, but not necessarily by the top accrediting organizations (especially important in looking at MBAs) like most major research universities are, the credibility of these institutions is without doubt, and many of the for-profits are still seen in a negative light by employers and the public (whether they deserve it or not is another question entirely). For example, I am a Master's candidate at the University of Louisville, and here they offer 5 fully online Bachelor's degrees, 5 fully online Master's degrees, and 2 fully online graduate certificates; adding more regularly. And these include degrees from a top ranked engineering program and highly regarded computer science, education and communications departments. Not to mention the full access to full research university library systems online! In sum, if you care about price, quality, reputation, credibility/full accreditation, and access to amazing resources, look first to the brick and mortars that are expanding into online learning. It takes a little more research to find them, but it's worth it.

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Last edited by Cindyella; 05/11/10 04:03 AM.
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DETC accreditation ALONE is not what I, or most employers would typically refer to as fully accredited. That organization has been 'accrediting' correspondence programs since the 1950s, and holds less weight as an academic accrediting agency, though it is a recognized accreditor by the ED and CHEA (see www.chea.org/pdf/CHEA_USDE_AllAccred.pdf for a complete list). CoARC is probably fine, as it is specific to respiratory care. And if we're NOT talking about an associate's, bachelor's or graduate degree, then even the DETC may be fine, as other technical programs don't fall under the purview of the regional boards.

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