How Do I Choose the Best Continuing Education School?
A continuing education school can help you earn a degree, certificate, or college credits; you may also be able to take non-credit courses that can help you improve your daily life, learn a new skill or trade, and train for a specific job function. Choosing the best continuing education school starts with deciding what continuing education courses you are interested in, and then researching the available options in your area. You may also want to consider online continuing education schools, which can offer many of the same classes as an on-site school but with more flexibility in scheduling and the ability to attend class without going to a specific location.
Whichever continuing education school you choose, you should make sure the school is accredited. An accredited school is one that has been evaluated by an accrediting agency and has been found to offer a high quality education that is valued and respected in the professional community. Attending a continuing education school that is accredited will help ensure you qualify for certain types of financial aid, and it will give you a leg up on the competition when applying for jobs. Some schools will not accept transfer credits from non-accredited schools, so attending an accredited institution will help avoid such obstacles.
Once you have narrowed down your search, consider the continuing education school that offers the programs you need at a price you can afford to pay. Financial aid may be available for some students, so applying for aid is a possibility, but for students who are only taking one or two classes, this may not be an option, so the cost of each class should be considered carefully.
Consider online continuing education school offerings as well, especially if you work full-time and cannot make it to an on-site classroom every day for class. Online classes allow flexibility in scheduling, and very often you will be able to work on classes at your own pace at any time of day. Keep in mind, however, that some online classwork will require you to be very organized and motivated to work well on your own. Direct contact with an instructor is not always possible, so you will need to do a fair amount of self-directed learning. If you learn better with an instructor present who can answer questions quickly and walk you through difficult topics, online classes may be difficult for you.
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