Online College Classes Make Higher Education Possible for Everyone

Online college classes help students expand their potential. Whether they are seeking a degree or just brushing up on some skills, attending college courses that are presented in an online environment is a flexible, efficient way to accomplish these goals.

Some students are initially made apprehensive by the idea of attending college online. They have grown comfortable with the traditional classroom format and feel that an online classroom cannot possibly be as engaging as the personal interaction they might have with an instructor and students at a brick-and-mortar institution. Additionally, some students suspect that any credential received through completing online college classes will not seem as authoritative or prestigious as a similar degree earned in a more traditional manner.

In actuality, most schools which offer online college classes are fully accredited by professional and educational organizations. Their credentials are unquestionable and the certificates and degrees students earn through such programs are recognized by employers and other institutions of higher learning around the world. Such can be said for the community colleges of southern Maine, each of which is a respected learning facility that offers online courses as part of a mission to make higher education accessible to everyone.

Online college classes are not a shortcut to earning a certificate or degree. In fact, students in such programs that are offered online will have to work at least as hard as their counterparts who are learning in a traditional environment. The main difference between the two types of delivery is where they take place. Obviously, one delivery type is conducted in a classroom on campus. Online courses, on the other hand, can be attended by students on their personal computer at home, a computer at their place of employment or a library, or any other computer with Internet capabilities to which they have access.

Because there is no set location for online college classes to meet, class times are also quite flexible. In general, students enrolled in online programs may attend class whenever it suits their schedule. This may mean that the student attends class early in the morning or in the middle of the night. They may log on to class during their lunch break at work or after the kids have gone to bed in the evening. In most cases, the schedule is their choice and as long as they check in with the class several times each week, they will be able to satisfy the course’s requirements.

With no set location or time for online college courses, individuals who have never experienced how such courses operate may wonder how class can be conducted in such an environment. The answer is that most such classes take place on message boards. Each student is provided with a login name and password. Once signed in to the website, they have access to the course syllabus, email for the instructor and all class members, and the classroom discussion board. Each course will have variations, but typically the instructor will post a discussion topic which might include some assigned reading and relevant questions. Most teachers will stipulate that each student must respond to the discussion topic and also that they must respond to the comments of a certain number of other students. In this manner, students discuss the subject matter and can do so with a great deal of detail. Students will also complete assignments and post them to the classroom website for grading by the instructor and comments from classmates.

Online learning is a remarkable innovation that enables individuals to achieve the education they need to advance in almost any career field.