What is Accelerated Distance Learning?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
A woman taking an accelerated distance learning class.
A woman taking an accelerated distance learning class.

Accelerated distance learning programs allow a person to complete an educational program and earn a degree faster than he would in a traditional educational program. For example, such a program may allow a person to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years rather than four. Often, these distance learning programs are offered online. An individual, however, may also enroll in a distance learning program for which materials and assignments are handled through the mail. In fact, a person might even find one that combines online and mail components.

In most cases, enrolling in a distance learning program means spending the same amount of time learning a subject or earning a degree as one would in a traditional setting, minus travel time and waiting related to class size. An accelerated distance learning program, however, allows a person an opportunity to reach his educational goals faster. How quickly a person can complete an accelerated distance learning program depends, however, on the details of the program and his schedule and abilities.

An accelerated distance learning program often grants degrees. For example, a person may earn an associate's, bachelor’s, or master’s level degree through such a program. Some, however, may also offer diplomas or even certificates in a particular subject. No matter what credential the program offers, however, it always allows an individual to complete his studies faster than usual. Some may even allow a person to cut his educational program time in half.

The format of an accelerated distance learning program may vary from school to school. Many schools allow students to learn entirely online when they choose an accelerated program while others include a combination of online and mail-in materials. Some may even include telephone and video conferences in their course formats. An individual may also find educational programs that are handled entirely through the mail. Often, however, such programs lack accreditation and may be less useful for someone who plans to continue his schooling or use the credential he earns to find a job.

Often, distance learning programs allow an enrolled student to learn at his own pace. This is usually not the case when it comes to an accelerated distance learning program, however. Since the goal of these programs is to allow students to graduate sooner than usual, students are usually required to keep to stricter credit completion requirements. These programs, however, usually offer students the flexibility of studying and learning at times that are convenient for them. This often proves helpful for students who have work or other commitments to manage.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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    • A woman taking an accelerated distance learning class.
      By: Yuri Arcurs
      A woman taking an accelerated distance learning class.