If you have been weighing up the pros and cons of home study distance learning courses versus traditional campus study, you have no doubt been asking friends if they know anything about correspondence courses. You will get a whole raft of both positive and negative opinions from whomever you ask.
There has always been a lot of rumour and misinformations floating around that distance learning schools are scams devised to separate naive folks from their money. You will often hear that employers do not consider the diplomas that they offer, to be a genuine qualification Despite the fact that most of these statements are nothing more than urban legends or myth, there is nevertheless some truth to them.
So, what is fact and what is fiction?
We have all seen news stories of businessmen who have ‘bought’ their MBA or PhD degrees from so called ‘diploma mills’. The story becomes the main topic of conversation on the TV and in the newspapers for a few days and then it is back to business as usual. Yes, it does happen every so often, but the majority of the time, this is not the case at all.
The most important thing to take into account with a distance-learning establishment is whether the institution is accredited or not. Degrees and diplomas from accredited institutions are readily accepted by employers as legitimate. Ultimately, unless you tell them otherwise, the employer will not know that you obtained your diploma via an online training course. They will know however that you passed the study course with excellence and successfully completed all the requirements for your degree. Chances are that the employer will not ask to see your diploma and even if they do, there is nothing printed on it.
Some people are under the impression that distance learning is easier than listening to a tutor in a classroom. There is no truth in this. If you don’t have the required self-discipline needed for distance learning, you may in fact find home study more difficult. At the end of the day, the course is going to cover the same material whether you study at home or in a classroom. That is what academic accreditation is there for.
In any case, your assigned instructor plays a crucial role in how well you do as well as how much and how fast you learn. With that in mind, you should make a point of finding out all you can about the tutors involved with the distance-learning program. Their history and reputation should give you a good idea how well you might do.
Can credits be transferred from one school to another?
If you have started a distance learning program and want to move to a new school, you should be able to take earned credits with you. Once again, accreditation is the key. On the assumption that both your distance learning institution and your new school are both accredited, your official transcript will go through the same review process. It is quite possible that most but not all credits will transfer. It cannot be stressed enough that thorough research should be carried out before starting distance-learning instruction.
How much quicker will I complete my degree course with distance learning?
The answer to that largely depends on you and your pace. Home study allows you the advantage of learning at your own speed rather than the set pace of classroom tuition. If something is easy for you then go ahead and breeze through it. At the end of the day, distance learning gives you complete control.