When students search for online degrees, they can choose to either enter a program that is attached to a brick-and-mortar (or “physical”) university or college, or earn a degree from a for-profit, online-only school. There are marked differences between not-for-profit physical universities that also offer online programs and for-profit, online-only schools. Even if you don’t plan on walking around your school’s campus except, perhaps, during graduation, you are still benefiting from a brick-and-mortar college’s overall academic accreditation, student support services and community reputation.
Quality Online Degrees and Programs Are Offered Through Physical Universities
Your experience as a student in an online program should be close to that of an on-campus program. These are some similarities to look for when considering a program. Be sure that the college or university will:
- Assign on-campus faculty to teach online classes. Most physical universities hire new instructors only after a significant vetting process, which includes several rounds of interviews, the review of published papers listed in potential instructors’ CVs, and observation of teaching styles. These instructors are hired because they meet and exceed a university’s high standards and are a good fit within the campus culture. Therefore, many of these schools use their tenured professors to teach online classes and degrees to ensure that the same values required for on-campus courses are also being met in an online curriculum.
- Follow the same high standards. Many brick-and-mortar schools are regionally accredited. This means that they must meet certain criteria, as outlined by an outside organization, to ensure that particular educational standards are present. For-profit online schools are less likely to have this kind of accreditation.
- Provide a high level of support. The support system that is in place for students attending physical universities and colleges is extended to those earning online degrees as well. During the application process, these schools ensure that prospective students are prepared to enter and complete a program. They provide admissions help, academic support, financial aid, and job-hunting assistance for all students, whether they participate in on-campus, online or hybrid programs.
- Use hybrid programs to enrich student learning. A brick-and-mortar college offers traditional classes that many students prefer while they earn their degree. They enjoy the community, the opportunity to ask questions and immediately receive answers, and the ability to work and study in groups. Many universities have similar online and on-campus programs that include the same courses, allowing students who live near the college to attend physical classes when they are able while also studying using distance learning.
Lindenwood University Online offers more than 120 accredited graduate and undergraduate courses that are taught by professional Lindenwood University faculty members. Call or contact us today to learn more about our programs.