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How Do I Choose the Best Accredited Online College Courses?

Individuals often take online college courses to help them enroll in an associate's or bachelor's degree programs.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 27 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are now such a diverse number of accredited online college courses that many people don’t know how to choose which ones to take. Typically, these courses do cost money, so taking the wrong class can be costly. Usually this decision comes down to deciding what people need to or ought to enroll in as part of an overall career plan.

Sometimes people turn to accredited online college courses in order to fulfill a few requirements that can help them enroll in a college program. This scenario may most often occur when people’s other education hasn’t adequately prepared them to study in a certain subject area. For instance someone interested in getting an MA in counseling might need to have studied psychology in a BA program, but could have pursued a BA in a very different field like theater arts. What this student would need to do is determine what prerequisites were required to gain admission to the MA program and find accredited online college courses that met preadmission requirements.

If unsure, the student could definitely seek out an advisor at the campus where they planned to pursue their MA work, and ask them to verify that the online courses would count. There may be a charge associated with talking to an advisor on this issue. If the MA program is also online, a student might consider taking prerequisite courses at the same campus to be sure that classes are exactly what are required.

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Another example occurs when a student plans to get a degree through an online university and needs to choose accredited online college courses. If a degree or certification is the goal, it really makes sense to stick with one university. Each university may define a degree program slightly differently. Switching back and forth between colleges doesn’t make sense. Whether people are looking for a certificate or a degree, classes are pretty well defined. Most schools will tell people exactly what they need to take, and then offer then some electives.

On the issue of electives, students should go with their interests, unless they want to fulfill some future goal that will require taking a particular class. Good advising though, is key to understanding how to choose accredited online college courses. Students should enter a program with a clear idea of exactly what they’ll need to take. In fact if this support isn’t offered to students, they should look for a different program where they are advised on specifically on what to take so they meet their career or education goals.

Some people simply enjoy taking accredited online college courses. As with electives, those interested can let their passion for learning guide them. When there is no goal but to learn, people might also consider taking the many free college courses that don’t offer units but that have first-rate instruction. There are now numerous classes that people can take online, which are taught at some of the finest universities in the US. For the lifelong learner these can be extremely attractive.

High school students who want to earn college credits in advance of college may be interested in accredited online college courses. While this doesn’t save any money, since online schools are usually expensive, it may save some time. The first two years of college are principally composed of general education studies. Students might want to contact the college they plan to attend and determine which classes will constitute general education. They can then choose those courses at an accredited online school.

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