Top rated online colleges typically encompass the same traits: accreditation, top degree programs, top faculty/staff, and a stellar reputation. However, ensuring that the top rated schools truly contain these elements is a different feat in itself which requires some research and digging into the school’s history.
For profit schools are more susceptible to various rumors of degree mill stories and other atrocities which could befall any online college. It is therefore more important than before that as a prospective student, you look into the accreditation of the school before you think of enrolling. Accreditation is one of the most important factors in choosing an online college because it takes into account the background of the school, its reputation in the education community, as well as the probability of earning a potential degree. A university which is not accredited will still give students a degree, but it will essentially be worthless in the academic community and can make earning a job even harder than it currently is. Simply taking some time to research into the school’s accreditation can save you years of time in the end.
It is difficult to perceive whether online colleges have top rated faculty in addition to their degree programs, but learning some background about the degree programs and their hiring processes can help quell some of these fears. Many of the faculty of online schools have had years of experience in a college setting, as well as an extensive background in their specialty. Simply researching the head of the department in the major you are interested in can help sway your decision. You do not want to be taught by a professor who has had little to no educational experience and does not have a prominent education background.
The reputation of online colleges is even more difficult to research into because it involves understanding the online school. The degree programs that are offered can contribute to this reputation as a school that offers a wide variety of courses through their site, but the success stories of recent graduates additionally help cement the school’s reputation. Finding the school’s reputation via its students and faculty is typically the best resource in choosing an online college, but should not be the only step you take in your decision. Online college has quickly developed into a new way to earn a degree and a new foray into the online education community.