Taking online courses certainly isn’t a new idea, but with changes to technology and the advent of mobile devices, it’s certainly making this a much more popular option. There is less and less of a reason to have to sit in a stuffy classroom or lecture hall listening to a boring lecture. Why not cover that same lecture on your own time, at your own pace, and in your own comfortable atmosphere?
I started looking into this option for my college-aged son. He’s in his first year of college, and that year didn’t go as expected for him. He fell behind with the course work as he began to realize his chosen major of engineering wasn’t as exciting to him as he originally thought it would be. With a new switch in major to science and with the intention of teaching it eventually, he needs to get caught up, and wants to take some classes locally while he’s home for the summer. I started exploring options for where he could find the courses online to increase his options.
This is a great place to start. You can look up specific degrees, and it will tell you where you can obtain these degrees online. However, it doesn’t offer options for finding individual coursework. It does have invaluable resources, however. These include resource materials, broadcast learning sources, and digitized textbooks, both in audio and text versions, that are offered for free. Anyone who has purchased college textbooks recently can tell you how much of a savings that could be. You obviously wouldn’t be able to find all your textbooks this way, but could save yourself some money. It’s worth the time to search.
They don’t offer degrees, only savings. They stress that they aren’t a college, but there are online colleges who have partnered with them, and they have also partnered with the American Council on Education (ACE)’s College Credit Recommendation Service. If your target college is part of ACE or partnered with StraighterLine, the credits will transfer. They also stress that sometimes you can get a college not partnered with them to accept your classes for credit if you show them the website and ask. The prices are indeed the draw here. For a $99 monthly subscription service, you can take classes for as cheap as $39. Or, you can avoid the subscription and pay $399 instead.
Worldwide Learn isn’t offering you anything other than finding the schools for you that will offer you the types of degrees you want online. This holds for whether you’re looking for an Associate’s degree or a PhD. Although I have to admit getting a PhD online just sounds like it wouldn’t hold much water to be very respected. Yet, it is available. The colleges they feature include DeVry University, University of Phoenix, and Ashland University.
4. Make Use Of
Free. Who can’t resist free? That’s the obvious upside to this one. The downside is a big one, though. The courses aren’t for credit. However, some of them are complete courses. If the credit doesn’t matter to you and you are just into learning, this is perfect. If you need a little extra help on top of the paying course you’re already taking, it could also be of benefit. Even MIT has made some of its coursework available in this list.
This one offers complete degrees. The price isn’t cheap, but it’s what many universities charge for just one year. They feature two hundred accredited colleges with degrees from Computers and Technology to Education to Legal and Criminal Justice. If you’re looking to get your entire degree without leaving home, this is a great place to start.
The point of all this is that it’s out there for the taking. College degrees don’t have to kill you (or your parents) financially. You don’t have to go that far from home, even if the local community college isn’t your cup of tea. There are no reasons left to not pursue a college degree. It can be as easy or as cheap as you want. And now I just need to convince my son of the same thing.