Why Does Accreditation Matter
Accreditation matters because it sets quality standards meant to ensure that online degrees hold value. Employers and graduate schools know that if you hold a degree from an accredited online college, then you graduated from a program that meets the rigorous requirements for accreditation.
In contrast, an unaccredited degree can cost you more than job offers. Graduates of diploma mills risk leaving school with debt and nothing to show for it but a degree that isn’t recognized by employers, graduate schools, or professional certifying agencies.
Always verify that an online college or online university is accredited.
Whats The Difference Between The Online Semester And The Online Monthly Intake
These courses start every semester and most run for 14 weeks. You have assignment deadlines to meet throughout the course. You must write the final exam by your course end date. You can register up to 1 week after the course start date.
Please note: Courses are structured to include due dates which students are expected to adhere to.
Monthly Intake Courses
These courses start the first business day of each month, excluding the months of January, May and September, and run for 14 weeks. You must complete all course requirements and your final exam within the 14 weeks. You can register up until the course start date.
Please note: Courses are structured to include due dates which students are expected to adhere to.
To view all the programs that are available with a monthly intake, you can visit algonquincollege.com/online-learning/monthly-intake/
How Do I Get My Final Grades And How Long Does It Normally Take
Final grades are usually available online approximately three weeks following the course end date on the Algonquin College Student Information System . On occasion with special cases it may take up to three weeks for your grades to be posted. You will need your student number to login to ACSIS. If you do not have your student number, you must contact the Registrars Office as they are the only ones authorized to give students their student number by telephone. You can reach the Algonquin College Registrars Office at 613-727-0002 or 1-800-565-4723.
Accreditation & Bachelor Degree Completion
The most important factor in transferring credits is the accreditation of the university where you took your courses. All colleges are not accredited and among those that are, not all are equal in their accreditation.
There are two types of school accreditation: . The vast majority of degree-granting colleges in the United States that award the online bachelors are regionally accredited.
Most online business schools are also regionally accredited.
The most common problem students encounter in transfer is that their old credits were earned at a nationally accredited college, and they now want to transfer them toward online degree completion at a regionally accredited college.
Most regionally accredited colleges do not accept online courses taken at nationally accredited colleges as the equivalent of their own.
A few regionally accredited online schools do accept nationally accredited credits in transfer. If your credits were earned at a nationally accredited college, ask about this specific policy before you enroll.
Create A Regular Study Space And Stay Organized
Set up a dedicated learning environment for studying. By completing your work there repeatedly, youll begin to establish a routine. Whether your workspace is your kitchen table, a library, or the corner booth in a local coffee shop, its important to determine what type of environment will work best for you. Experiment to discover which type of setting boosts your productivity. Wherever you choose, make sure theres high-speed internet access so youre not trying to take an online course over a lagging connection.Setting up a regular workspace or office will also help you to stay organized. Knowing exactly where important dates, files, forms, syllabi, books, and assignments live will help keep you on track towards hitting your goals. When setting up your study space, make sure you:
- Have a high-speed internet connection
- Have the required books, materials, and software for the course
- Have headphones for listening to lectures or discussions
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Graduation Ceremony Availability Varies Per Online School
Theres no requirement that online schools, or traditional schools offering an online program, offer a graduation ceremony for their students. All that is technically required of these schools is that they actually grant a real, physical diploma to those students who have completed their course requirements. As a result, its very important to look at how the school handles graduation for its online students before agreeing to enroll at that school. For schools that already have an offline component, those who opt for distance learning are typically invited to the same graduation ceremony with their offline counterparts each May and December. Theyll sit alongside their fellow students without any indication that their program was completed online.
For those schools that offer online programs only, things are not necessarily as clear. Many of these institutions do hold annual graduation ceremonies for their students but, because these schools may be located halfway across the country, attendance can be prohibitively expensive for many students. In this case, it might be a good idea to pick an online-only school thats located somewhat close to home. If the ceremony is in driving distance, its much easier to attend.
Bachelor Degree Completion: Upper Level Courses
College courses are taught on two levels. Courses that are introductorydesigned to be taken in either the freshman or sophomore yearare termed lower level courses. These courses are numbered 100 or 200 in catalogs and on transcripts. Courses that are commonly taken in either the junior or senior year, which cover more advanced subjects, are termed upper level.
To complete a , online schools will require you to take a minimum number of upper level or junior/senior courses. You will be required to take most of these upper level courses in your major area. Most colleges require that from half to one-quarter of your bachelors degree consist of upper level courses.
Many online degree completion programs require students to take ALL their major courses or at least a percentage from their course catalog.
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Is It Smart To Graduate Early
Like every other decision, this also has some pros and cons. The good thing is that you save money and dont waste your time on courses you already know. College studies can be expensive for you and your familys budget, including tuition costs, buying the necessary books and paying for dorms. Also, one of the advantages is that you can start working like a younger person and until you get 30, you will have a lot more working experience than the people your age. Or, you can use the time you saved to travel more and to give yourself a break until you start being a responsible adult.
But, also, this decision has negative aspects. You can forget about being with your friends very often, you will lose a few precious moments with your family and you will miss some of the life chapters people your age is passing. After you get a job, you will spend a lot of money to pay back the student loans and that can be difficult because you will meet adulthood earlier than you planned.
How Employers Evaluate Online Degrees
As many as 83% of business leaders see an online degree at a well-known institution as having the same value as an on-campus degree. If they are not familiar with a school, however, or the institution isnt known for producing prepared graduates from its programs, your degree may not be seen as having the same value. In fact, 58 percent of employers believe that an institutions brand and reputation is the main driver of a credentials value, regardless of whether or not it was earned online.
Employers are also more likely to embrace an online degree from a school that provides traditional, on-site coursework in addition to its online offerings. According to the Society for Human Resource Management , 92 percent of employers view online degrees from brick-and-mortar schools as favorable, while only 42 percent would consider a candidate with an online degree from a university that operates solely online, despite any accreditation. Many employers infer that brick-and-mortar institutions dedicate the same time and attention to developing online courses as they do for courses held in a physical classroom. Degrees earned from these schools, including Northeastern, are often treated equally.
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Take A Full Course Load
Consistently taking a full course load each quarter or semester will make it much more likely that you wont fall behind, as long as youre passing your classes.
Every once in awhile, maybe in the very first quarter, a student might want to take a little bit lighter course load, maybe one fewer class to get their feet under them. And that certainly makes sense, but I usually emphasize that we dont want that to be a habit because thats how you get behind, said Conway.
Find out what constitutes a full course load at your school that will ensure on-time graduation. This may depend on credits per class or unit, and whether your college is on a semester or quarter system. It takes 120 credits to graduate. On average, universities on a semester system require about 15 credits per semester to graduate in four years, taking about five classes per semester. Meanwhile, quarter systems require about 10 credits per quarter, so taking about three classes per quarter will put you just ahead of the game at 12 credits per quarter. Note that both of these approximations do not include summer courses.
Get Credit For High School
Lastly, consider concurrent enrollment. In this program, you can receive college credit that meets the core and elective graduation requirements AND college credits.
That means high school students can concurrently earn an associates degree while still attending high school. Their transcript seamlessly reflects this efficient duality. The classes dont cost high school kids anything, and the program could save as much as two full years of tuition! Also, textbooks are generally subsidized by grants, and very motivated participants can actually finish college well before reaching their peers.
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Graduate From College Early By Testing Out Of Introductory Courses
Many colleges have a testing phase that enables them to decide where to place you when taking basic courses in math or English.
If you have taken AP courses in high school or scored well enough on your standardized tests, you may be able to skip the introductory course to pursue the next level, which knocks another course off your list.
Check out more on this topic by reading the section on CLEP exams below.
This Online University Was Made For You
At WGU, our focus is on your successas an online student and a graduate. WGU has been one-of-a-kind from the start.
Were the first university where all bachelors and masters degrees are competency-based. Its an innovative approach that measures learning, not class time, and it works particularly well for adult learners. Plus, our online college courses are designed with input and guidance from industry leaders and employers, so you know you’re learning what you need to know to be successful. It will be rigorous, hard workand it will be worth it!
We are the nations only university created by 19 U.S. governors. Their vision: Help change the lives of working adults by giving them access to a high-quality, affordable higher education that fits into their busy lives.
We believe higher education should be affordable for everyone. WGU is a nonprofit university with tuition well below what other reputable universities chargeabout $6,500 per year for most programs. Our flat-rate tuition model means you complete as many courses as you can in a term without paying more, so graduating faster also means graduating for less.
Have questions about a degree?
Youll read, complete assignments, write papers, and take tests, just as you would at other universities. But, in most cases, your online learning progress wont be tied to a class scheduleyou can move quickly through material you already know and take the time you need to learn the things that dont come as easily to you.
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Online Colleges Have Commencements For Their Students
Just because you are studying online does not mean that you will not have the opportunity to celebrate your graduation in-person. It can be much more exciting to attend a graduation ceremony that is exclusively for online students because you will meet the students that you have communicated with virtually for so long in person. Most schools, both traditional and online, will have a biannual graduation event so that you can receive your diploma in either the winter or the summer.
Commencements are usually held on-campus, but not all online schools have a campus that students can go to. If you are attending a national college with no locations in your area, there is a chance that you will attend a national commencement. If this is the case, you will receive special discounts for travel and accommodations.
A Course I Want To Take Has A Prerequisite Do I Have To Take It
If you feel you have the relevant knowledge, you may not be required to take the prerequisite as long as the prerequisite is not part of your program of study. We strongly recommend that you take the prerequisite first, if you take the course without having completed the prerequisite, you do so at your own risk.Note: this does not apply to the Teachers of Adult Lifelong Learners program, in which the prerequisites are strictly enforced.
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Remember Graduation Costs Money Whether Attending The Ceremony Or Not
One of the great ironies about higher education is that students pay tens of thousands of dollars to earn their degree, and then have to pay a small graduation fee before their diploma will even be granted. Its been the butt of jokes for quite some time, but it remains a key part of the degree completion process. Students should keep in mind that this fee is used to finance the diploma, the cap and gown, and the ceremony itself. That means graduates are paying for the ceremony even if they dont attend. With that being the case, its probably a good idea to maximize the value of tuition dollars and mandatory graduation fees by attending the ceremony and inviting close friends or family to attend as well. Theres no better way to celebrate graduation than in the presence of loved ones, with the universitys pomp and circumstance as a backdrop.
How Much Do Online Classes Cost
The cost per credit hour for online undergraduate classes is $320 at SNHU. Cost per credit hour for online graduate classes is $627 . And with no application fees, you can also apply for free.
That’s because we recognize that achieving your education goals is about more than just finding time, its also about overcoming financial barriers.
Apart from this, the overall costs per course may vary, depending on the price of books and other learning resources.
We understand how challenging it can be to manage your education costs. That’s why we’re here to help whenever you need it. Our Student Financial Services team is always available to guide you through the process. They’ll help you explore financial aid options and even identify ways to help lower your tuition.
You may, for example, qualify for a scholarship or grant opportunity. And if you’re a military service member or military spouse, you could be eligible to receive up to 30% military tuition discounts.
Whatever your financial situation, we’ve got your back.
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Graduate From College Early By Planning From The Beginning
Speak with an advisor and inform them of your intentions to graduate from the program early. Many classes have prerequisites that need to be completed before enrolling.
If you dont organize your schedule very carefully, you may end up a semester behind in your planning. Lay out a base plan for the classes that you want to take from your first semester up through your last.
Also keep in mind that some classes are only available in one of the two semesters for the year.
Speak with your advisor every semester before registering to ensure youre on the right track to graduate from college early.
Enrolling In A College Degree Program Is Scary That’s A Good Thing
The very real benefits of earning an online college degree are many. Here’s one you may not have thought of: pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Doing something that scares you is a great way to “exercise your bravery muscle,” as Reshma Saujaniwho founded her groundbreaking organization Girls Who Code despite having just lost an election and having no experience with codingrecently told an audience at a lecture series hosted by WGU.
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Online Degree Myth #: Online Degrees Are Not Accredited Which Means Youre Not Earning A Real Degree
This ones tricky because there are some institutions that are not accredited at regional and national levels. Steer clear of these diploma mills, and opt instead to pursue your online degree through an accredited institution. To become accredited, a university or college must be evaluated and validated by a reputable third-party accrediting agency as having met established education standards. According to the U.S. Secretary of Education, accreditation of an institution or program by a recognized accrediting agency provides a reasonable assurance of quality and acceptance by employers of diplomas and degrees. A great place to check for accreditation information is the U.S. Department of Education website at . If the school is accredited, it can be found in that government database.
So – given the above, what do you think? If you’re thinking an online college degree program is something you’re interested in, or think you might be interested in, click the banner below and get in touch with one of our online specialists. They’ll answer all your questions, and you’ll get good insight into whether or not an online degree is right for you.
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