How Do I Choose a School?
Choosing the right school is a critical decision!
- Ask lots of questions
- Look for online reviews
- Ask friends or co-workers about their experiences
Start by finding out of the school is regionally accredited.
This is very important! Some programs may appear to be accredited but not by these bodies. Make certain all the credits you earn in your program will be transferable to other colleges and universities. The regional accrediting bodies are:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Look at the school’s experience and reputation in online education.
- Can you preview a course demo?
- Are the courses interactive or are you just reading screens?
- Do courses include lectures, chat rooms, streaming video, practice quizzes, etc?
- How many students are in each class?
- How long does it take for a faculty member to reply?
- Are faculty, advisors, and other student services available during the evening and on weekends?
- Is there an orientation to online learning?
- Is this orientation instructor-led?
- What are the specific hardware and software requirements for your courses?
- Are your online courses synchronous or asynchronous?
- Do your courses include any hands-on experiences?
Then, look at the school’s reputation and experience with adult students.
- What student services are available?
- Do online students have access to the school’s bookstore, library, and technical assistance?
- Is tutoring available?
- Are your advisors trained to work with adult students?
- Is a Prior Learning Assessment available?
- What are the costs associated with Prior Learning Assessment?
- What are the credit transfer guidelines?
- How well do they handle transferring previous college credits?
- What is the estimated time required to complete a certificate or a degree?
- Are the courses accelerated?
- Are course evaluations available to the public?
- Can I learn more about your faculty’s experience?
- May I review a course syllabus?
- What are the steps associated with enrollment?