Some people can complete their degrees online in a short period. Others take several years, and for some people, completing a degree is a lifelong project. Most distance learning projects are open ended, but some of them are ones with a specific time limit, so it’s wise to check out the requirements of any program, which you start, online or in person. Each individual person has to decide what is best for him or her and then decide if distance learning will work for him or her.
Some of the items to keep in mind when selecting a program of study, and a school to attend is: Size of School: Does your school have a population of two thousand, or twenty thousand? State and public colleges and institutions tend to have a larger population, a large population tends to lead to a greater selection of courses. The actual size of the student population is not important to accreditation or any other issues. Program Availability: Are the programs or classes you need available online, or at the times and accessible to you? Reputation: Does the school have a positive and well-known reputation? Is the school known for academic and learning excellence? Accreditation? There are a lot of diploma mills out there, make sure the school or program you select is accredited, and has credits that will transfer to other schools. Professor Access: Will your program online have times for you to access the professor or instructor? How will you have access, and will it allow you to have questions you need answered replied to in a timely fashion? Infrastructure: Does your program have support and online services that will assist you in your program? What sort of interaction (Whiteboard, threaded discussion, etc) will students in your classes have with you, and with each other? Think of the sprinters in a race. Not every sprinter can be the winner, but once you are ahead it is much easier to stay ahead of the pack. And if you are ahead, you are more likely to emerge as a winner. Earning the most amount of money, or being the best at a particular career are not always the factors that should decide if education is for you.
Distance learning is not for everyone. People who study and do best in distance learning situations are those that are motivated, and have some goals and self-discipline. You have to know yourself, and know if you attend school online if it is something that you will be able to see through.