Distance Learning: Getting Started With An Online Degree Program

You’ve been thinking about earning your college degree. Or maybe you’re only a few courses away from getting your high school diploma. The Internet has made distance learning accessible and flexible. Here’s how to get started.

Tips for Choosing an Online Degree Program
Here are some important tips for getting started with distance learning online.

  • Verify accreditation
  • Transfer credits you’ve earned
  • Consult an academic advisor
  • Communicate with instructors, academic and technical support advisors

Let’s look at each of these tips in a bit more detail, as each of them is essential to your success in distance learning online.

Make Sure Your School is Properly Accredited
You’ve seen online ads offering a college degree overnight, and promising prestige and success. Don’t buy it! The only way to get a legitimate online degree is to take courses offered by an accredited institution. You can verify accreditation at the U.S. Department of Education website.

Transfer Credits from Other Institutions
You may be asked to submit official transcripts from your high school and any colleges you’ve attended. These are used to determine which courses you will need in order to complete your online degree. Distance learning programs will generally apply some credits earned from other institutions toward your online degree.

Consult an Academic Advisor
If you’re pursuing an online degree, you’ll want to set up an appointment for advisement, especially if you are transferring credits to be used toward your degree. Academic advisors can help you determine which courses to take in order to complete your degree, and can help you plan a course schedule that meets your needs.

Communication is Important
One drawback of distance learning is that you can feel isolated. Make use of chat sessions and online bulletin boards, and e-mail your instructor with questions and concerns. Finally, if you encounter technical problems with your distance learning program, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Distance learning programs offer a great way for busy adults to earn an online degree or diploma.