Community Colleges Online: Factors During Selection

  • November 2012
  • Posted By JohnnyG

Many of the community colleges online cater to the needs of local students in majority of instances.  This gives students the immense benefit of flexibility, allowing them to finish the course at their own pace depending on their schedule or free time.  Essentially, many local students work during the day or night, which means having flexible schedules will allow them great convenience and greater chance to actually complete their course to receive their degree.

Community colleges in majority of instances represent the first concrete step for many students to further their education right after high school.  Even if the goal is to take four-year courses, community colleges can be a good venue, because many of them have articulation agreements with colleges and universities that will allow transfer credit.  The transfer credit allows for the courses taken from community colleges to be accepted as equivalents in colleges and universities.  Accessibility has also been further increased with community colleges online.  Use the following factors to in your selection.

  • Mixed experiences

Although online courses offer immense flexibility, convenience, and experience to students, missing out on traditional classroom exposure can have its drawbacks.  This is why it is important to consider community colleges online that allow for mixed experiences for their students.  This means that the online courses are combined with traditional classroom exposure to further the learning experience they deliver.

The combination will contribute to the expansion of catalog offerings by allowing campus-based courses to be made available online.  The strategy will give students the opportunity to compile transfer credits faster than expected.  This will translate to the completion of a chosen course in substantially shorter time.  Exposing students to campus opportunities is also a good way of promoting enrollment and making the educational institution more appealing.

  • Transferable credits

It is important to point out that not all community colleges online provide transferable credits to their students.  This emphasizes the importance of initially confirming the availability of transferable credits, which can be extremely beneficial to students.  This is an important factor to consider even if there are no plans to transfer to another educational institution of higher learning.

One good reason to verify the presence of transferable courses is that they will look comparatively better on the transcript of the students.  It also gives them the opportunity to take on educational advancements in the future in case the need arises.  Keep in mind that an accredited authority should be the source of the courses to ensure their legitimacy, not only in community colleges, but in virtually all types of learning institutions.

The value of transferable credits should also be taken in the context of education being a continuous process.  It is difficult to discount the possibility that when you begin your career, your employer may require you to take additional training courses, in which case, transferable credits will come very handy.  It may even serve as the key to allow you to take advantage of promotions and other career advancement opportunities.

  • Faculty members

It is not only the community colleges that should be subjected to close scrutiny, but also its faculty members.  Establishing the identity of the faculty members will give students a better idea of the quality of education that they can expect from the learning experience.  Along with verifying the identity of faculty members and their credentials, the necessity to uncover the types of resources that can be made available to students is equally important.

Access to competent faculty members and reliable resources will be extremely beneficial to students for the duration of the semester.  Try also to check if faculty members offer tutorial services to students that request for them.  even if these types of services are available only on campus, their value should not be taken lightly.  Some faculty members may also require students to take proctored examinations in the testing facility of the learning institution if needed.

  • Workability of courses

One of the factors that should be considered by students during the selection process should be the workability of the online classes being offered.  Essentially, some community colleges online may offer classes like math for example, which can be challenging to learn online, especially without the physical presence of an instructor.  The same can be said with foreign language subjects, which would require plenty of opportunities to be practiced in order to become second nature.

If you will be taking literature classes though, doing it online or via traditional classroom setting may not make much of a difference, because students will normally be reading at their own pace.  The workability of the courses should also entail possibilities for interaction with other students taking the same online course.  Basically, having the presence of a support group through other students in the online class can help resolve some critical issues during the term.

Having access to other students can provide you with a way to tackle difficult subject matter when an instructor is not available.  This type of interaction is actually considered by many education experts as one of the primary reasons why online education is so effective.  Establishing the workability of courses will allow students to stick with the established schedules and ultimately finish their degree within reasonable time.

Despite the numerous advantages associated with online learning, the fact that it can become challenging and difficult cannot be denied.  This is why it is important to tackle these four essential factors that will come into play during the selection process for your choice of community colleges online.


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