Over the past few years, online colleges have expanded at an astonishing pace as more people become comfortable with new, innovative ways to learn. Enrollment is rapidly increasing every year and many wonder if distance learning will eclipse classroom learning. People around the world, especially older and non-traditional college students appreciate the convenience offered by online schools. Whereas the quality of many online universities has increased considerably in the past few years, many people are uncertain about how to find and evaluate the best programs. Fortunately, for students looking for accredited universities, there are many quality resources designed to help sift through the information and make the best choice. Here are a few of the most useful sites:
- For years, one of the most common sources utilized by parents and students in the great college search has been US News & World Report College Rankings. US News & World Report ranks schools based on several criteria, from faculty credentials and training, to student services and technology, to student engagement and assessment. Several dozen schools get ranked and graded in each category, allowing the reader a comprehensive and simple guideline with which to compare schools.
- For students who are looking for a site that specializes in online education information, the Online Education Database would be a logical site to start. OEDB strives to make the search as user friendly as possible, guiding students by desired degree level, major and subject. The interface is clean and simple, offering information on accredited online universities only. This filter sifts out the disreputable programs, ensuring that degrees from any of the listed institutions will be respected by prospective employers. OEDB has been written up in the Los Angeles Times, Business Journal and InfoWorld as a credible site for online college information.
- Elearners.com is a good site for potential students who are looking to get a full sense of what is available online. The site compiles alphabetical information about accredited online colleges, as well as online courses and programs, some of which may not be fully accredited but still provide educational resources. Several of these sites can be useful as supplementary material for those enrolled in a degree program and looking for further studies.
- OnlineSchools.org offers a wide variety of information regarding online resources, but it stands out in its presentation. Users can choose several different venues for information, all ordered in an aesthetically pleasing front page. Various articles detailing online education are available for reading, as well as research on popular degrees, accreditation programs and even advice on how to make the most of one’s education. Considering the breadth of information, it is very well organized and not the least bit overwhelming. Definitely a resource to check out.
- For those who want to find a great deal of information strictly on accredited online schools, the site, AccreditedOnlineColleges.com, is worth a look. As the title suggests, the site is fully dedicated to accreditation. With pages entitled “How to Know if a Program is Accredited”, “The History of Accreditation”, and even “Who Accredits the Accreditors?” the site is a wealth of information about the accreditation process.
Searching for a school can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The search for a school can be a positive experience – an opportunity for families to bond and individuals to learn about the constantly evolving world of education.