February 25, 2018

Online Degree Program Rankings – USA

As Distance Education and online qualifications become acknowledged in the workplace, starting early 2012 the U.S. News & World Report launched it’s inaugural ranking of the leading online education courses.

As online education increases in popularity and enrollments continue to rise, future students—a high percentage being mature and working full-time—have always struggled to locate reliable information or any guide to the best and worst colleges for Distance Education.

U.S. News have now started to provide the kind of information that makes choosing a course and college a much simpler process.

Compiling their Top Online Program Ranking Guide, U.S. News discovered that among the top performing online programs there were many similarities when compared to most of the top performing traditional campus based institutions. Comparisons show a definite link between the number of academic staff employed, the level of program accreditation and the success rate of the program.  For the student, enrolling in an Distance Education Program that has been built around the success of traditional programs should ensure the student receives engaging coursework, tutorials compiled by academic staff, remote access and student support services similar to those found in campus based environments.

Being a new report and the first time information of this kind has been made available to the public, it is clear that although these results provide comprehensive data for online education degree programs, over time the information provided through the U.S. News ranking report will become more sophisticated as online institutions provide better and more detailed data that can be used to determine the programs academic quality and provide a more accurate ranking report to it’s readers.

There is no doubt that in a short time the U.S. News online education ranking guide will become the ‘Go To Tool’ for anyone looking for a Career Pathway or to enroll in an online education program.

U.S. News have ranked five disciplines at masters and bachelor’s degree level combining data provided from all undergraduate level disciplines. There are four indicator rankings within the graduate degree programs and three within the undergraduate  programs. These rankings are all at the program degree level.

Below are listed the top 23 online degree program indicator rankings that will be published:

1. Student Engagement and Assessment – Online Bachelor’s

2. Student Services and Technology – Online Bachelor’s

3. Faculty Credentials and Training – Online Bachelor’s

4. Student Engagement and Accreditation – Online Business

5. Student Services and Technology – Online Business

6. Faculty Credentials and Training – Online Business

7. Admissions Selectivity – Online Business

8. Student Engagement and Accreditation -Online Nursing

9. Student Services and Technology – Online Nursing

10. Faculty Credentials and Training – Online Nursing

11. Admissions Selectivity – Online Nursing

12. Student Engagement and Accreditation – Online Education

13. Student Services and Technology – Online Education

14. Faculty Credentials and Training – Online Education

15. Admissions Selectivity – Online Education

16. Student Engagement and Accreditation – Online Engineering

17. Student Services and Technology – Online Engineering

18. Faculty Credentials and Training – Online Engineering

19. Admissions Selectivity – Online Engineering

20. Student Engagement and Accreditation – Online IT

21. Student Services and Technology – Online IT

22. Faculty Credentials and Training – Online IT

23. Admissions Selectivity – Online IT

In this inaugural year of rankings it was decided that there would not be a numeric classification for overall program excellence, but instead U.S. News devised a non-numerical method of producing rankings using statistical data from each online program. Each category; Bachelors, Business, Education, Engineering, Computer Information Technology and Nursing will show the Benefits of Online Education and include a list of the best performing programs based on a series of numeric indicators gathered directly from each program.

To see the full report, go to: www.usnews.com/education/online-education

Want to learn more about Distance Education?

Distance Education FAQs

Diploma Mills and Accreditation

Learning Strategies

Pharmacy Technician Training Programs

Did you know that pharmacy technician training is not a compulsory prerequisite to becoming pharmacy technicians. Most students get all of their training while working in pharmacies or in hospitals. Although the training is not a requirement, you will find lots of training programs provided by hospitals, universities and through the military. These programs cover a range of materials and subjects relating to the pharmacy field.

Helping licensed pharmacists with their tasks is the major duty of the pharmacy technician, the typical responsibilities include taking the prescriptions of patients, counting the capsules or tablets required in prescriptions and labeling them with the correct info. The pharmacy technician training program will prepare the pharmacy technicians to complete their tasks in a correct and effective way. Most of these training programs include areas of study such as record keeping, calculations and pharmaceutical terminology.

Areas of Study

    • Poison/Drug Emergencies
    • Prescription and label information
    • Physiology/anatomy
    • Medical/terminology
    • Pharmaceutical Calculations & Measurements

These Distance Education Programs may also include an internship program, which provide firsthand understanding and experience to the pharmacy technicians regarding their duties. After the internships students will be generally confident in their ability to provide the correct doses and understand the names, effects and actions of the prescribed medications. Once the online pharmacy technicians training program is complete, pharmacy technicians will obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, depending on the course level.

In many cases certification isn’t necessary, but it’ll be important for employment opportunities as many employers give high priority to certified pharmacy technicians. To obtain certification, pharmacy technicians have to pass the examination offered by the Institute for the Certification of Pharmacy Technicians, or the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. It will be simpler for those pharmacy technicians to pass the exams successfully who have achieved  the pharmacy technician training programs. The certification must be renewed every two years and pharmacy technicians must engage themselves in continuing education to complete them successfully if they want to maintain their Career Pathway.

The completion of training programs and certification will increase the job opportunities of pharmacy technicians. This may also help them achieve higher positions in larger pharmacies. Taking a pharmacy technician training course  is not a prerequisite but it can be exceedingly beneficial for those that have made a decision to become a pharmacy technician. With this training, pharmacy technicians will be in a position to enjoy benefits like higher income, increased job opportunities and promotions.

career test

Online Pharmacy Tech Coaching can be best for those that wish to have a career in the pharmacy field. If you are also in this list, then get your training from the best Pharmacy Engineer Faculties.

Want to learn more about Distance Education?

Distance Education FAQs

Diploma Mills and Accreditation

Learning Strategies

 

Online Medical Helper Programs Offer Possibilities For Great Medical Careers

College fees are getting more and more expensive each day and through online health courses you can not only cut the price of commuting but take advantage of the other benefits as well. That said, many still have doubts about the validity of distance education programs, is it really possible to study medical assistant programs online, graduate and then find employment? Does distance education provide an effective and economical alternative to traditional studies?

It is not uncommon today to find most of the traditional colleges and universities providing online courses to their students. Traditional faculties may have the benefit of social interaction but they can also suffer from jammed campuses and classrooms, this can make an especially stressing environment for learning.

Online medical helper programs are counseled in many schools and show up in your logs as standard classes. Through the benefits of online education you will be able study your course work more effectively with assistance from an expert professor. Online medical assistant classes will have examinations and tests throughout the course and you will generally get your results after each exam. Apart from that, you will be given videos and tutorials hooked up to your web medical login account from where you can replay and review the content at a time and place of your choosing.

Before you rush off and sign up with the first medical aid college that you come across on the net, there are a few things you have to consider first.

What is the reliability of the online medical assistant program? There are numerous scams out there and a unwary but willing student will be easily tempted. You’ve got to ensure that the course program offered by the college is  commissioned. You can contact the office of the Higher Learning Commission or other agencies that offer accreditation’s for medical faculties and ask if the college is on their list. This is highly important as no matter how high your grades are if the medical assistant course that you have attended is unaccredited then your qualification won’t be seen as valid. When you consider the time, effort and cost of achieving your qualification you will not want to end up with a worthless certificate. Always spend as much time as possible checking a school’s credibility.

Once you’ve completed the course you will have a choice of career pathways. There are some places of work that are searching for graduates of certain online medical assistant programs. You can use the internet or medical journals to search for employment opportunities within the medical field.

Apart from everything else there is one more thing you need, and that is  the will to succeed. Becoming a medical assistant will require reserves of commitment and the resolution to complete the course. Without those characteristics   , you will find you have less chance of success in today’s competitive world.

Online medical assistant programs offer you the knowledge to put your learning into practice, it’s down to you to use this information as a stepping stone to further your employment, career and earning capacity. Online medical programs are one of the best methods to attain your qualification and achieve success as a medical assistant.

Have you ever considered online study At online education courses? Discover the possibilities it brings. Online Medical Helper Programs. Open the door to several different fields of specialization.

Want to learn more about Distance Education?

Distance Education FAQs

Diploma Mills and Accreditation

Learning Strategies

Distance Education FAQs

 

Are you curious about Distance Education? Well, if you have a need to study from home and have flexibility with your course timetable then online learning is the best way to achieve your education goals.

Online courses and colleges are gaining in popularity because many students are either unable to commit to full-time study, restricted by geographical limits or have insufficient funds to pay for full-time school fees. Such students choose to join Distance Education Programs.

Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions about Distance Education.

Q. How do I apply for an online learning course?

A. Most distance education websites will have an enrollment section that will help you with the application process. Depending on the institutions requirements you may be required to provide your personal details, contact information, high school grades, GPA, SAT or ACT scores, proof of school diploma or graduation or any references from teachers or counselors.

You may find that some websites require you to put in a request before the application details are mailed to you. If you are considering a bachelor’s degree course then the prerequisite for entry is a high school diploma or GED, for graduate courses schools will expect at least a bachelor’s degree or similar qualification for admission.

Q. Am I eligible for financial assistance if I join an online college?
A. Providing you choose an accredited online education program then you should be eligible for some form of financial aid. Ensure that the online course you enroll into is one that is recognized by regional accredited agencies. Online schools that do not meet basic quality standards or provide unrecognized courses are not awarded grants or scholarships. You can also inquire about your eligibility for financial assistance through (FAFSA), Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Note. If you are not a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen, then you are not eligible for federal student aid. However, many state agencies, schools, and even some scholarships will consider you for non-federal aid.

If you are seeking financial aid then it is important that you inform the provider that you require assistance for an online education program. You will find a number of providers decline applications for financial aid to support distance education programs.

Q. Can I apply for an online learning course if I happen to live in another country?
A. Yes. International students can apply for online courses. However, it is a good idea to ensure that the courses are accredited and the training sessions are valuable. If you want to join an American University, a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score is a must. You may also be required to provide proof that you can pay the required tuition fees and additional details about your international status.

Note. Beware of institutions that offer ‘low cost’ degrees, diplomas or certificates, also steer clear of schools that do not demand  proof of previous education or qualifications or requires little or no education or coursework to obtain your qualification.These institutions are known as Diploma Mills.

The dictionary defines a diploma mill as: An institution of higher education operating without supervision of a state or professional agency and granting diplomas which are either fraudulent or because of the lack of proper standards worthless. – Webster’s Third New International Dictionary

Q. Do online courses cost less than traditional courses?
A. You will find online learning courses are generally lower priced than conventional college or university courses. However the cost that you will incur is dependent on many factors, such as the college itself, whether you are enrolled for an undergraduate or graduate course, the supplies and books that you need to equip yourself with, etc.

The one big saving you will make by studying online is through the saving of  accommodation costs and the fees associated with living on campus.  Living at home during studies should allow you to save enough to pay off your tuition fees and be debt free.

Q. Do professors handle the online classes?

A. This can be a difficult question to answer. Generally only qualified instructors with a masters degree and certified to teach will provide online tuition, they may not be professors in the strict sense of the word but will have expert knowledge in their field.

Higher level courses are almost always handled by professors. These professors generally manage graduate level learning and administer lectures.

You will also find online colleges provide qualified  support staff that are there to help students through their course work, provide advice on Career Pathways and help solve any issues the student may have.

Q. What are the attendance requirements for online courses?
A. Just like traditional college courses, online colleges require you to log in to the course a set number of times every week. Colleges do use management software programs to monitor the attendance of students, so just because you’re not physically seen does not mean you’re not being monitored.

Q. How are tests conducted for online courses?
A. Whereas some colleges conduct physical tests in campuses for online courses, there are others who conduct the tests online. Some of the courses conduct open book tests whereas others impose restrictions that keep students from using dishonest means. At other times, students may have to hire approved proctors to supervise while they sit the exam.

It is important to check with the college before you enroll on their exam testing requirements, depending on the system they use your compliance with their testing policy will be unquestionable.

Q. How long does it take to complete an online course?

A. It is entirely up to you. If you have a lot of free time then you can choose to finish it as fast as you want, or depending on your circumstances you may want to take it easy and fit it around your other work/home/social commitments.

However, there are some factors that will determine the length of the program, the nature of the course, the number of courses that you have enrolled in and the academic level that you wish to achieve.

Here is a guide to the time required to attain qualification.

Certificate: 6 – 12 months

Associate Degree: 2 -3 years

Bachelor’s Degree: 3 – 5 years

Master’s Degree: 2 – 3 years

Doctorate Degree: 2 – 10 years

The above guide is only an estimation, every person and their circumstances are different, one of the main Benefits of Online Education is in the choice to tailor the course to suit your individual requirements.

Q. What assistance can an online student get with their coursework?
A. Just because you’re an online student the level of support should be similar to what you would expect from traditional universities. Many prospective students believe online learning lacks personal communication, although this is true to a certain degree there is still a large resource for online students to communicate with their college, teachers and other students.

The learning resources available to online students include the use of electronic libraries, contact with teachers/professors through email, phone, lectures and webinars, college counselors, fellow students and the student services dept, school administrators and for any technical issues the college technical support dept.

Q. How acceptable are these online courses in the industry?
A. This largely depends on the academic qualification and the field of commerce the student is aiming for. Some employers readily accept students with accredited online degrees while others will always select someone with a traditional degree over those with an online degree.

It is important that the student does not choose to attain their degree through the ‘easy route’. A qualification from a diploma mill or similar will only result in the student ending up with a qualification that has no academic value and is meaningless to future employers.

You will find that providing your academic qualification was bestowed through the online department of a well known, and respected college or university, your online degree should not prevent you from achieving your career objective.

Q. Is there some kind of career counseling offered for students of online courses? What about placement services?
A. Many universities that offer courses online also offer extensive career counseling and placement help, this ensures that students are provided with relevant workplace information after they complete the course.

Q. What professions are most likely to accept online degrees?
A.
Obviously there are some industries that are more likely to accept an online degree than others. Professions that are based mainly on academic studies would be more willing to accept online degrees than professions which  require a level of practical proficiency and would be less likely to accept online degrees.

  • Professions most likely to accept online degrees include Accounting, IT, Administration, Actuaries, Education, Humanities, Business Management, Health Sciences, Graphic Design, Economics and Finance, Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Professions less likely to embrace online degrees include Engineering, Construction, Medicine, Agriculture, Law, Sciences, Veterinarian, Catering, Journalism, Coaching

The reality is as Distance Education becomes more accepted you will find increasingly employers accepting online qualifications, that is not to say that you won’t face difficulties, it just means that until online learning becomes standard practice you may find yourself having to justify the validity of your degree.

Diploma Mills and Accreditation

Diploma Mills – What They Are And How To Avoid Them.

Diploma mills are a burgeoning problem that carries with it a negative stigma within the Distance Education industry. By definition, a Diploma Mill is any educational institution that purports to provide a certification or diploma, but does so without the auspices of any type of oversight from an accreditation board. It does so without adhering to any commonly held academic standards, and it does so without putting the student through the rigors of adequate training, testing, or tutelage to ensure the student has thoroughly understood the material being taught.

In layman’s terms, a diploma mill is any for-profit educational institution that gives you a diploma or certificate without really making you work for it. It is deemed as a “short cut”. As a student, you might be able to take this diploma or certificate and use it to seek employment, but in reality you will not have been fully trained with the knowledge and skills necessary to do your job, and therefore you may not be fully qualified for the job. And as a consequence, you may actually end up getting fired from your job as soon as your employers come to realize that you weren’t really as qualified as your diploma claims that you were. This wastes both your time and your employer’s time, and can also hurt your prospects for future employment and career opportunities.

Diploma mills generally appeal to the type of person desperate for an academic qualification or an individual who is looking for a “short cut” to get into the work force. Unfortunately individuals who do manage to secure their credentials from this type of provider are really fooling themselves into a false sense of achievement and setting themselves up for future disappointment in a number of areas.

You will have received a sub-par education. This is most notable with those institutions that claim that you can learn an entire semester’s worth of material in just a few short weeks. Just because you might have been able to read some books, memorize the material, and passed some exams in a short span of time does not mean that you actually have LEARNED and UNDERSTOOD the subject mater. It does not mean that you truly grasped the concepts being taught. The emphasis was more on helping you pass exams than on the actual learning process.

Unfortunately this is one of the problems with many Distance Education Programs or self-paced study courses, but that is not to say that all self-paced or distance learning courses suffer from this problem. The key distinguishing factor that differentiates the diploma mills from veritable academic institutions of higher learning is ACCREDITATION.

For an educational institution to be accredited means that its entire curriculum has been thoroughly vetted and certified by a board or a committee responsible for setting educational standards in a particular field of study. If a particular school is accredited by that agency that means that it meets all of the agency’s guidelines for providing a quality education in that particular field of study.

If a particular degree program lacks proper accreditation, then its ability to provide you with a legitimate diploma is also suspect, it then begs the question whether the degree obtained by such an institution is even worth anything? Some might argue that it is, since the program should be evaluated and judged on its on merit and not necessarily that of a third party accreditation agency.

If a particular school’s educational program cannot pass the guidelines of an accreditation agency, then is that school operating with the legitimate interests of the student’s education in mind? Or is it operating merely as a for-profit scam, doling out paper diplomas as some shady, fly-by-night operation that keeps up the guise of being an “institution for higher learning”, but is in reality providing worthless and possibly fraudulent qualifications.

This is actually a problem when assessing whether the diplomas issued by foreign schools are acceptable or not. Many people who wish to emigrate to western countries such as the United States or to Europe from third world countries might fall into the trap of obtaining a paper degree from a diploma mill, on the hope for being able to seek better economic opportunities overseas.

Unfortunately, far too many students fall victim to these diploma mill scam operations, because the school passes itself off as legitimate. Therefore, unbeknownst to the students, they are being ripped off.

That is why it is important to arm yourself with the knowledge of how to distinguish between a legitimate distance learning / self-paced online school versus a diploma mill.

Some of the telltale signs of a suspect school include:

  • The school’s grading standards are very lenient and are not nearly as stringent as one might expect from a good quality school.
  • The material is merely glossed over and more emphasis is placed on rote memorization and passing exams than on actual learning.
  • The teachers are not readily accessible to students or not knowledgeable about the subjects they are teaching.
  • The pace of the course is rushed such that there is not enough time to reasonably learn and absorb the material.
  • You are unable to verify that this school shows up on the list of any accreditation agencies for that particular locality or that particular field of study.

Choosing a Career Pathway is difficult at the best of times and obtaining the proper qualification is paramount to success in your chosen field. Diploma Mills are a scourge upon society. A diploma must be backed by the hard work that comes with taking the time to master a particular field of study. Otherwise, a diploma that is backed by some “fast track” program that gets you in and out the door quickly, merely for the sake of issuing you a piece of paper, is in fact, worthless to you and your future employer.